Professor Woodward on Growing Up, Schmaltzy Movie Music, Desert Island Tracks

Monday, January 05, 2015
Photo of Roger Woodward

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD -- Roger Woodward is recalling the first moment he was profoundly affected by music. It was 65 years ago but he describes his epiphany — he heard JS Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor — with such passion and clarity it could almost have happened yesterday.

“I heard Bach and that was the spark that ignited the rocket and I took off to some other galaxy or whatever it was,” he says. “I just soared when I heard that music. Nothing could ever be the same again.”

The deal was sealed a little later, if there ever was any doubt, when he encountered the great St. Matthew Passion.

“I heard a full orchestral rehearsal with [Eugene] Goossens at St. Andrews Cathedral,” he recalls. “It was just like a tsunami: It blew me away.”

This dramatic awakening is documented in his new autobiography, along with an idyllic childhood in Chatswood. Woodward is speaking from his home in California, where he is professor of keyboard performance at San Francisco State University


Photo by Boris Eldagsen