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Lockdown Listening with Lucy Drever

Photo of presenter Lucy Drever at the Philharmonia Sessions, smiling, Philharmonia Orchestra in the background

This month, Philharmonia Sessions presenter Lucy Drever shares music to inspire, motivate and de-stress.

I always feel a bit embarrassed when I say that I don’t actually listen to that much music. For me, when I hear music, I’ll immediately start analysing it, or thinking about how it could fit into a workshop or educational concert context. I don’t find listening to music is a passive thing for me- I get very invested in it. But over this past year, I’ve had the time and opportunity to just listen to music for fun, comfort and energy! I’ve had the time to listen to albums in their entirety and I’ve really enjoyed finding some new music.


Jessie Montgomery, Starburst

One of my last pieces of work before the world completely changed was presenting some Family Concerts for the Philharmonia Orchestra- these were so thoughtfully put together by the amazing education team and the communities they work with. I was therefore so overjoyed to be asked to present their family concert which was streamed online in August- and this piece really stood out to me. To me it literally sounds like stars bursting all over the sky- it’s the perfect contemporary classical music piece that lights up imaginations.

Lindsay Lou, feat. Rachael Davis, Maya De Vitry, May Erlewine & Lindsay Lou, Something More

I first saw Lindsay Lou perform at the HebCelt Festival in Stornoway, Lewis, with her band Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellies, and I’ve followed her ever since. I think she has one of the most soulful, intricate and powerful voices (particularly live) that I’ve ever heard. She also sings in a trio called Sweet Water Warblers and I just get so moved every time I listen to them- this song features on their new album.

Jan Sandström, Det är en ros utsprungen

I came across this song whilst some repertoire was being decided upon for an educational concert that I was presenting. This piece to me is a reminder of the fantastic power that music has in helping us all to take some time out, and just be. The blend of the voices is magical and I just think it creates such a peaceful atmosphere.

Solange, Losing You

I, like most, have found lockdown really hard- my job is all about people, and my job is incredibly important to me. So sometimes at the end of a stressful zoom day, I put on this song, and have a wee dance. I think Solange is one of the most creative artists out there, and I’m constantly in awe of her vision as an artist. And this song in particular makes me smile.

Joyce Didonato, Una Voce Poco from Barber of Seville

Sometimes if I need a bit of a pick me up, I’ll watch a Joyce Didonato masterclass on Youtube- I love her story, her way of working and of course, her voice. The generosity that she brings to her roles is spell-bounding, and the control in this aria is inspiring. She’s also one of the best singers at acting through my opinion!

Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle, Leaving Uist

This is a beautiful tune that reminds of one of my favourite ever gigs that I went to. I love that even though there are no words, the whistle is singing. I love live music and I cannot wait for that moment (hopefully in the near future) when the lights go down, the audience quietens, and the artists take that first breath before they perform. Pure magic!

Lauryn Hill, Doo Wop

Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of my favourite albums. I found that over this past year I’ve spent more time than ever before at my computer, and this album has got me through! I turn it up and I get my emails done.

Danish String Quartet, Traditional (arr. DSQ): Five Sheep, Four Goats

I first heard this tune from a musician who I was working with on some Early Years workshops. To me it’s a hopeful, optimistic and forward-facing tune and one that I listen to regularly. I feel very lucky to work with incredible musicians, dancers and artists and this tune reminds me of fantastic colleagues who I can’t wait to see and work with again!

Farrenc Overture no 1 in E Minor opus 23 *

I’ve been listening to this piece lots over the past while, as it is going to feature in the upcoming Philharmonia Schools concert. The programme is entirely female composers, and I could not be more excited for the young people to hear such excellent music. Farrenc’s story is powerful- regardless of her fame and success she was paid considerably less than her male counterparts at the Paris Conservatoire in the 1800s- for ten years she fought for equal pay. She won, and I can’t wait to tell the audience this!

Lin Manuel-Miranda- Satisfied from Hamilton

I’ve not actually watched very many live streams or recordings of performances- I’ve found it a bit too sad, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic. But one recording I did watch was Hamilton. It was absolutely fantastic and I think Lin Manuel-Miranda is one of the best storytellers and wordsmiths of our time. This song blows me away every single time and I think Renée Elise Goldsberry is just brilliant.

*More information coming soon!