Name: Tony Palmer
First MSI: Appearance: 3 March 2013
Profile: Tony Palmer is a British film director and author whose work includes over 100 films, ranging from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa (200 Motels), to his classical portraits which include profiles of Margot Fonteyn, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner, Yehudi Menuhin, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams. He is also a stage director of theatre and opera. Among over 40 international prizes for his work are 12 Gold Medals from the New York Film Festival as well as numerous BAFTAs and Emmy Awards. Palmer has won the Prix Italia twice, for A Time There Was in 1980 and At the Haunted End of the Day in 1981. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an honorary citizen of both New Orleans and Athens. From Cambridge University, he joined the BBC. Following an apprenticeship with Ken Russell and Jonathan Miller, Palmer’s first major film, Benjamin Britten & his Festival, became the first BBC film to be networked in the United States. With his second film, All My Loving, an examination of rock and roll and politics in the late 1960s, he achieved considerable notoriety. In 1989, he was awarded a retrospective of his work at the National Film Theatre in London, the first maker of arts films to be so honoured.
In addition to films, Tony Palmer has also directed in the theatre and in the opera house. After a debut at the Zurich Opera House with Peter Grimes, he had a double triumph in Karlsruhe, War and Peace, and again in Zurich with Berlioz‘s masterpiece, The Trojans. In Saint Petersburg, he directed the Russian premiere of Parsifal, conducted by Valery Gergiev, with Plácido Domingo. He has also directed in Hamburg, Munich, Augsburg, Savonlinna, Berlin and Helsinki and recently became the first Western director ever to work at the Bolshoi in Moscow. Parsifal won Best Theatre Production in Moscow, 1997, as well as a ‘Golden Mask’. On the West End stage he has directed the world premiere of John Osborne‘s Look Back in Anger Part Two, Déjà Vu. Mr Palmer also presented the BBC Radio 3 Arts magazine ‘Night Waves’, for which he won a Sony Award for best arts programme.
Tony Palmer has published several books, and has written for The New York Times, The Times, Punch, Life magazine etc. From 1967-74 he was a regular music critic for The Observer. From 1969-74 he had a weekly column in The Spectator entitled ‘Notes from the Underground’.
For more information on Tony, visit his website: http://www.tonypalmer.org