Classical Life
This Is Your Life Classical Life feature
John Barbirolli This Is Your Life John Barbirolli This Is Your Life John BARBIROLLI

21 January 1957

The conductor of Manchester's Halle Orchestra was surprised by Eamonn at the BBC's Dickenson Road Studios in Manchester - in the first This Is Your Life programme to be broadcast outside of London.
Sir John's tribute includes messages from Arthur Rubinstein and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

     
     
  This Is Your Life Big Red Book Parry JONES

15 April 1957

The Welsh tenor - who survived the sinking of RMS Lusitania during the First World War in May 1915 - was surprised by Eamonn in the audience at the King's Theatre, Hammersmith.

     
     
Harriet Cohen This Is Your Life Harriet Cohen This Is Your Life Harriet COHEN

9 February 1959

The international concert pianist, who won world acclaim as an interpreter of composers such as Bach and Debussy but whose performing career was restricted when the artery in her right arm was severed in an accident with a tray of glasses, was surprised by Eamonn outside the BBC Television Theatre.

     
     
Eva Turner This Is Your Life Eva Turner This Is Your Life Eva TURNER

14 September 1959

The world-renowned soprano was surprised by Eamonn outside the BBC Television Theatre, having met some old friends - seemingly by chance - on the street.
Among those paying tribute for this, her first of two encounters with Eamonn is the conductor of Manchester's Halle Orchestra, John Barbirolli.

     
     
Cyril Smith This Is Your Life Cyril Smith This Is Your Life Cyril SMITH

14 November 1960

Eamonn surprised the concert pianist and teacher at the BBC Television Theatre.
Despite a stroke paralysing his left arm, Cyril continued performing concerts with his wife, Phyllis Sellick, playing as a piano duo with three hands. Among his guests is renowned conductor Sir Adrian Boult.

     
     
MMaryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer This Is Your Life MMaryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer This Is Your Life Maryan RAWICZ and Walter LANDAUER

6 March 1961

The immensely popular piano duo - best known for their arrangements of popular classics - were suprised by Eamonn at the BBC Television Theatre.

     
     
  Rita Hunter This Is Your Life Rita HUNTER

21 March 1973

Eamonn surprised the opera singer - best known as one of the major Wagnerian sopranos, for her performances as all three of the Brunnhildes in the Ring cycle - at the London Coliseum.

     
     
Alberto Remedios This Is Your Life  Alberto Remedios This Is Your Life Alberto REMEDIOS

28 January 1976

The operatic tenor - noted for his interpretations of Wagner's roles, especially Siegfried in The Ring cycle - was caught by Eamonn as he was leaving the London Coliseum.
A keen Liverpool Football Club fan, his tribute includes messages from Bill Shankly, Emlyn Hughes and Kevin Keegan.

     
     
Ian Wallace This Is Your Life  Ian Wallace This Is Your Life Ian WALLACE

29 March 1978

Ian - a bass-baritone opera and concert singer - was surprised by Eamonn during an interview for Capital Radio with future This Is Your Life host Michael Aspel.
Ian is a long-time panellist on the BBC radio panel game My Music, and his fellow panellists Frank Muir and Denis Norden are guests on his tribute, along with actor Robert Morley.

     
     
Kiri Te Kanawa This Is Your Life  Kiri Te Kanawa This Is Your Life Kiri TE KANAWA

25 December 1981

St Paul's Cathedral was the grand setting chosen for Eamonn to surprise the New Zealand born soprano for a Christmas Day edition of the show.
Kiri had maintained a highly successful career since 1968, and her tribute includes messages from Sir Georg Solti, Dame Joan Sutherland and a written message from Prince Charles.

     
     
Eva Turner This Is Your Life Eva Turner This Is Your Life Eva TURNER

9 February 1983

Previously honoured by This Is Your Life in 1959, the internationally renowned dramatic soprano was caught out again by Eamonn - just ahead of her 91st birthday - this time at the Royal Opera House.
Dame Eva's tribute includes messages from Dame Joan Sutherland on film, and HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by letter.

     
     
Geraint Evans This Is Your Life Geraint Evans This Is Your Life Geraint EVANS

4 January 1984

The Welsh baritone - renowned for his operatic roles - was surprised by Eamonn - in the car park of London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden!
Geraint's show includes a phone call from Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and - on a live link from Swansea - the Pontypridd male Voice Choir.

     
     
Carl Davis This Is Your Life Carl Davis This Is Your Life Carl DAVIS

29 October 1986

The American-born conductor and composer was surprised by Eamonn on board a boat moored outside Teddington Studios on the River Thames.
Celebrated for creating new scores for classic silent films, Carl scored the documentary series Hollywood, and the theme music from that series closes his tribute rather than the usual Gala Performance.

     
     
Georg Solti This Is Your Life Georg Solti This Is Your Life Georg SOLTI

28 October 1987

Eamonn donned a white wig and servant's garb in order to surprise the renowned conductor – on his 75th birthday - at London's Royal Opera House.
Having worked with leading orchestras all over the world, Sir Georg's tribute was truly international, with messages from Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa.

     
     
Sarah Brightman This Is Your Life Sarah Brightman This Is Your Life Sarah BRIGHTMAN

1 November 1989

Well known for her roles in Cats and Phantom of the Opera - in which she originated the role of Christine - the classical crossover artist was surprised by Michael, and her former dance colleagues from Hot Gossip and Pans People, at RAF Wittering.
Steven Spielberg, Michael Crawford and Michael Ball are among those who pay tribute.

     
     
Nigel Kennedy This Is Your Life Nigel Kennedy This Is Your Life Nigel KENNEDY

14 March 1990

The violinist - who made his early career in the classical field - was surprised by Michael at London's Abbey Road Studios.
Nigel's show includes messages from fellow violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Stephane Grappelli, and a rare television appearance from singer-songwriter Kate Bush.

     
     
Gwyneth Jones This Is Your Life Gwyneth Jones This Is Your Life Gwyneth JONES

30 October 1991

The Welsh soprano was surprised by Michael at Thames Television's Teddington Studios.
Dame Gwyneth worked as a secretary at the Pontypool foundry before studying music and becoming professional in 1962. Her tribute includes a letter from Prince Charles and an appearance from 91 year old harpist Sidonie Goossens.

     
     
Julian Bream This Is Your Life Julian Bream This Is Your Life Julian BREAM

10 February 1997

Michael surprised Julian - one of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century - during a concert at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, held to celebrate his 50th anniversary as a performer.
Julian's show includes tributes from composer Sir Malcolm Arnold and lyricist Tim Rice.

     
     
Andrew Davis This Is Your Life Andrew Davis This Is Your Life Andrew DAVIS

18 January 2001

As chief conductor with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Andrew is best known for his association with the Last Night of The Proms, so it was appropriate that Michael surprised him at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Among those paying tribute to the acclaimed conductor are opera singer Willard White and humanitarian Terry Waite.

     

* the pre-1970 subjects were surprised by a different coloured book - see the Big Red Book feature for full details