VIDEO PODCAST: Women Composers - Our special hour-long illustrated feature on women composers includes contributions from Diana Ambache, Gail Wein, Hilary Tann, Natalie Artemas-Polak and Victoria Bond.
'The power of the podium is far greater than that of the prime minister.' - Edward Heath
A former British prime minister and an accomplished pianist, Edward Heath was born on 9 July 1916 to a carpenter and a lady's maid. Heath's lifelong devotion to music began with piano lessons at the age of 8. He also learnt to play the organ whilst at school, and conducted the school orchestra and a local choir. By amateur standards, he became a good conductor, training the Balliol Choral Society whilst at Oxford (with an organ scholarship), and conducting the Oxford Orchestra.
In the 1970s, when prime minister, he joined the ranks of famous amateur musicians, appearing as a frequent guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and making LP recordings. He joined forces with Helmut Schmitt, German chancellor at the time, to play Mozart's concerto for two pianos, K365. Heath died on 17 July 2005, aged 89.