British TV documentary brings together addicts and London Symphony musicians

Posted on: August 27, 2014

“The refined world of classical music and the murky depths of addiction are not typically mentioned together. But now a new documentary brings together addicts to face their biggest fears and play, not only together as an orchestra, but on stage for a special performance with the London Symphony Orchestra,” writes Elisa Bray in Wednesday’s (8/27) Independent (London). “Addicts Symphony,” by composer and musician James McConnel, airs in the U.K. on BBC’s Channel 4 this week. “McConnel tracked down 10 classical musicians, many of whom had long since abandoned their once promising careers…. One of these 10 musicians is Rachael Lander, an award-winning cellist…. While she was studying at the Royal Northern College of Music, performance anxiety [first] struck…. The 30-year-old recalls, ‘I spoke to my parents. They said, “Everyone goes through it, you’ll get through it,” but I don’t think they realised how bad it was.’ Then she found a solution to the panic. Alcohol.… Thankfully, Lander’s addiction was relatively short, lasting four years.… For years now she has been an in-demand session cellist in the rock and pop world…. ‘I know I’m not the only one struggling with it and I’m hoping that people will maybe get some kind of courage to talk about it.’ ”

Posted August 27, 2014