That babies need classical music and high-brow art to realise their intellectual potential is a philosophy religiously adhered to by us parents, intensely interested in our children’s development. So we play our unborn babies endless Vivaldi and, from birth onwards, drag them to art galleries, concerts and so on.
Events like Bach for Babies and Mini Mozart are hugely popular. However, our company, that we founded in December 2018, is trying to do something new.
We perform on a bare stage and use traditional stories in their original versions, which we abridge to a length suitable for children’s attention span while preserving the full impact and beauty of the language. Actor Saul Reichlin, the prize-winning voice behind over a hundred audio books including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, uses no props – apart from his costume – to enact every nuance of the text.
The text itself is effectively interwoven with excerpts from pieces of classical music. They are played on the piano by Royal College of Music-trained John Paul Ekins, a regular performer at concert halls from Wigmore Hall to the Royal Albert Hall, who has also recorded a classical music album on the Naxos label.
Our motto is No Condescension. Good art is good art, whether it is for very young children or adults. We believe that for any age group we can rely solely on the power of the quality of the text, narration and music. We have been told that the result is a highly impactful and moving performance. This is what art is traditionally all about.
We originally advertised this performance as an event for babies, but it is mainly older children, of nursery and above all primary school age, who are riveted by what we do. And as it is a high-quality concert, adults also enjoy it – some were seen being moved to tears at our first production in December 2018.
As for the babies, they are very welcome too. Hopefully they will imbibe some of the atmosphere, and, maybe in the long run… you never know. It might just set them on a path to become lovers of storytelling and classical music!
About the Founder
Hannah Nepil is a London-based classical music journalist who writes for a range of national papers and magazines including the Financial Times, Gramophone and The Strad. After having her first baby, Joshua, in May 2018, she decided to start his musical education with this new concert format in the hope that some of his (potential) friends might enjoy it too.