38 min

Esther Freud Private Passions

    • Music

Esther Freud talks to Michael Berkeley about her extraordinary childhood and her passion for story telling in both words and music.

After attending drama school and making appearances in The Bill and Dr Who, Esther Freud changed direction at the age of 20 and turned to writing. She found instant success with her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which drew on her experience of living in Morocco as a very young child with her mother and sister Bella. She was named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists and has gone on to write eight more books, the latest being I Couldn’t Love You More.

Esther tells Michael about her childhood passion for telling stories and how her experiences in Morocco dominated her imagination for years afterwards. She conjures up memories of life in North Africa with a song by the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

As she grew older she grew closer to her father, the painter Lucian Freud, partly by sitting for him and partly by their sharing a rare holiday. We hear Lotte Lenya singing Kurt Weill, which reminds Esther of her father’s German heritage.

Esther learned the cello at school and its sound has remained an abiding love; she chooses music by Saint-Saëns and by the contemporary English composer Michael Hoppé. And music from Britten’s Peter Grimes transports her to her beloved Suffolk coast.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3

Esther Freud talks to Michael Berkeley about her extraordinary childhood and her passion for story telling in both words and music.

After attending drama school and making appearances in The Bill and Dr Who, Esther Freud changed direction at the age of 20 and turned to writing. She found instant success with her first novel, Hideous Kinky, which drew on her experience of living in Morocco as a very young child with her mother and sister Bella. She was named as one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists and has gone on to write eight more books, the latest being I Couldn’t Love You More.

Esther tells Michael about her childhood passion for telling stories and how her experiences in Morocco dominated her imagination for years afterwards. She conjures up memories of life in North Africa with a song by the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

As she grew older she grew closer to her father, the painter Lucian Freud, partly by sitting for him and partly by their sharing a rare holiday. We hear Lotte Lenya singing Kurt Weill, which reminds Esther of her father’s German heritage.

Esther learned the cello at school and its sound has remained an abiding love; she chooses music by Saint-Saëns and by the contemporary English composer Michael Hoppé. And music from Britten’s Peter Grimes transports her to her beloved Suffolk coast.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3

38 min

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