Roger Graef OBE
Roger is a writer, filmmaker, broadcaster and criminologist, best known for his pioneering work in gaining access to hitherto closed institutions ranging from boardrooms to prisons and for his BAFTA award winning programme Feltham Sings!
“The case for art in prisons is not theoretical. It is practical and pragmatic. Through art learning passes not only through the brain but through the heart.”
Stephen Hough CBE
One of the most distinctive artists of his generation, Stephen Hough combines a distinguished career as a concert pianist with those of a composer and a writer. Named by The Economist as one of 20 Living Polymaths, Hough was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, whereby he joined prominent scientists, writers, and others who have made unique contributions to contemporary life, and was appointed CBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.
“There is nothing more precious to a human being than liberty – the bigger issue of freedom of conscience of course, but also the simple freedom to choose when to go for a walk or whether to turn left or right when our front door is closed behind us. I feel a deep empathy with those who have had this liberty taken away from them. I also feel an empathy for those who risk seeing their lives as lost and hopeless: prisoners are our brothers and sisters who have made mistakes. My interest in Music in Prisons is a hope that the beauty of music can make a difference in the lives of those who have had beauty stripped away; that music can be a messenger of hope and of new purpose.”
The Rt. Hon. Sir Igor Judge
Sir Igor was Lord Chief Justice until 2013. His considerable experience as a judge at the highest levels has instilled in him a belief that offenders must be approached as individuals rather than a list of misdemeanors, stating in 2005: “You are not sentencing a piece of paper”.
Mark Knopfler OBE
Formerly of Dire Straits fame and now touring internationally as part of his solo career, Mark also took time out in 2005 to wow audiences at our 10th Anniversary Party with a fantastic acoustic performance.
“These projects are about using music to provide new opportunities for people who often come from very disadvantaged backgrounds. Music can cut across everything and heal in new ways.”
For over 30 years, American pianist, Murray Perahia, has become one of the most sought-after and respected pianists of our time. He is often described as a “musician’s musician,” one who performs with a distinctive directness. Murray performed a recital for Music in Prisons at its launch in the Guildhall in 1996.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Lord Phillips is a former Lord Chief Justice. He has spoken on many occasions of his concerns regarding the current overcrowding of the prison system and is deeply committed to ensuring that rehabilitation is a real and credible part of the prison experience.
Well-known for his colourful ties, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has a keen understanding of the need to offer positive opportunities to those most disadvantaged and excluded in our society.
“Music is a wonderful route toward making meaningful contact with people who’s life experience has culminated in jail. It is a vehicle for personal development and the expansion of horizons. Music in Prisons is a vitally important element towards changing the life chances and choices of people who end up in prison. The idea of punishment as opposed to rehabilitation is from the dark ages – long may this brilliant work continue.”
The Rt. Hon. The Lord Woolf
As a former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf’s interest in the state of our prisons stems from both a pragmatic view of justice and a deep humanitarian streak.
“Music in Prisons can help to break the vicious circle of offending, imprisonment, release and reoffending resulting in return to imprisonment.”