As Ivan Hewett writes in the Telegraph, under the beneficent eye of Sir Henry Wood, the Proms has always been at the cutting edge of new music. So it’s only natural the BBC Proms should approach that well-known figure Wallace with a request for a new piece. My Concerto in Ee, Lad will be unveiled today on the famous Royal Albert Hall stage, and it is one of the most eagerly awaited premieres of the season.
Best known as an inventor, with a keen interest in space travel, Wallace has preferred to keep his musical activities away from the public gaze. Now, in this exclusive interview, he reveals how he gets his inspiration and shares his thoughts on some little-known connections between music and cheese.
Telegraph: You’re writing a piece for the Proms. That’s quite something. How did that happen?
Wallace: In fact, the Telegraph played quite a part in that, you know, when you published my letter to the editor last year complaining about some of the rubbish they put on by contemporary composers. Next thing I knew, I got a letter from Sir Albert Hall himself asking if I thought I could do better — so I took him up on his challenge and here we are!
Telegraph: Music is the food of love, they say. Will there be romantic moments in your piece?
Wallace: You know, I think the second movement is a chance for my softer side to show through. I’ve never been lucky in love, but I think this will show the world that beneath this tank top, there beats a heart of pure passion. Gromit thought it sounded a bit cheesy, but I’m all for a bit of cheese!
The remainder of Ivan Hewett’s interview introduces the world to a much more cerebral Wallace and, if you can pop on over to Royal Albert Hall tonight, gives you a good idea as to what you will be in for. If you go, feel free to report back on the whole experience.