Neil Brand Live: Anthony Burgess at the Piano
22nd June 2023
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Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange and Earthly Powers, was also a musician who grew up in Manchester’s silent cinemas, where his father worked as a pianist. His novel The Pianoplayers draws on his memories of Manchester and Blackpool in the 1920s, using his father’s experiences as the background to the story of the heroine, Ellen Henshaw.
In this live musical event, the writer, broadcaster and silent film pianist Neil Brand and Andrew Biswell, director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, will use The Pianoplayers to delve into the world of silent film piano and Burgess’s understanding of music to throw light on a little-known aspect of cinema history.
This show has something to please everybody: liberally illustrated with film clips (including one that Neil will attempt to play ‘sight unseen’), insights on music from Burgess, and classic entertainment from the era of accompanied silent film.
The event is organised by the newly established Screen Studies Research Group at Manchester Metropolitan University, in partnership with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation.