Music Unwrapped: Programme Notes and other Music Writing by Anthony Bateman

‘Music begins where words end’ was the opinion of the famous German author, Goethe, and if this is true, transmitting the passion, excitement and sheer power of great music in writing is ultimately a fruitless task.

Yet many music lovers find good music writing both enjoyable and enlightening, words providing essential biographical, historical and interpretive background to the listening experience. 

In recent years writer and editor Anthony Bateman, a former professional orchestral musician with a PhD in English Literature, has been providing such words for a variety of Britain’s best orchestras, concert venues, recording labels, educational institutions, newspapers, magazines and publishing houses. 

Recent commissions include:

  • Programme notes for the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Birmingham Symphony and Town Hall
  • Brochure and website material for the Hallé and Manchester Chamber Concerts Society
  • CD liner notes for the Avie, Hallé and Onyx labels
  • Interviews for The Guardian with eminent musicians, including Jiří Bĕlohlávek, Carl Davis, Sir Mark Elder and Magdelena Kožená
  • Pupil and teacher educational notes for the Hallé
  • Programme notes for the Hallé Youth Orchestra, the Hallé Youth Choir and the Hallé Children’s Choir
  • A Bluffer’s Guide to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger
  • Notes for piano recitals by Angela Hewitt, Stephen Kovacevich and Benjamin Grosvenor
  • Programme notes for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic chamber music series
  • Editing a collection of essays, Sport, Music, Identities, for Taylor & Francis
    (see link above for selected examples)


Programme notes
programme notes image

CD sleeve notes
CD sleeve notes image

brochure image

Website copy
website copy image

  • ‘Anthony Bateman’s excellent programme notes described Schumann’s ambition to rescue the piano concerto from being “a shallow virtuoso showpiece with the orchestra relegated to the status of near-passive bystander.”’
    bachtrack 28 January 2013
  • ‘Tony provides an excellent service. Always engaging, he finds an appropriate voice whether writing sales copy, a programme note on West End musicals or on a Dvořák symphony. Great work, and always ahead of deadline.’
    Peter Naish, Design and Print Manager, Hallé
  • ‘Anthony Bateman is a wonderful writer to work with. He is always eager to take on commissions, especially notes on large or complete works, and he delivers them on time and to specification.
    Jackie Drewett, (Freelance) Programme Editor, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

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