AS might be expected of a concert pianist and founder of a recital series, Paul Turner is unshakably certain of the power of music - and particularly live music.

“You become part of the performance - it’s a shared experience, completely different to listening to it on a CD.

“What would our lives be without music? If we tried taking it out of every film, every TV programme, advertisement, church service, school? Out of football chants?

“Life would be very, very dull. Music is what makes us human. It’s something unique to us. It’s a way to communicate without words and it means we communicate on a much higher level as a result of that.”

Paul is a Swindonian. Both his mother and father worked at the old Wills cigarette factory but were determined that Paul’s life would take a different cause. It was a musical household; there was a piano he was encouraged to play, and his mother was an enthusiastic chorister.

Paul realised from an early age that music was to be his life, and modestly claimed in an earlier interview: “I didn’t have the aptitude for anything else. I became involved in everything musical in the town - orchestras, bands, choirs, everything.”

Five years at the Royal Academy of Music was followed by a career which has seen him perform at prestigious venues across the across the world, including the Royal Albert Hall and the Buenos Aires Teatro de Colon.

He is the official accompanist of the Swindon Music Festival in addition to being artistic director of the Swindon Recital Series.

The series came about when Paul realised that although he spent a great deal of time giving concerts and recitals throughout the country, little of the kind was going on in Swindon.

“It seemed like an opportunity to get things started. I had been asked to do a few lunchtime concerts at the Wyvern and they seemed to go well, so we just expanded to the Arts Centre as well.”

In the years since, the recital series has become one of the town’s most popular musical events.

The 2018-19 programme sees the Arts Centre, the Wyvern Theatre and Christ Church host an array of performers delivering works by an array of composers including Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Debussy and Walton.

The philosophy when it comes to selecting pieces for the series is to encourage artists to choose.

Paul explained: “I like people to play, wherever possible, whatever they enjoy playing, because that needs to come across to the audience.”

The motto of the series, prominently displayed on its website, is Music For All, and Paul is glad that certain old-fashioned notions about classical music, such as it being only for the well-to-do or dusty academics, are dwindling.

“I think people know much more classical music than they think they do. They may not know what it’s called, but they may know it from a film or from an advertisement. It’s surrounding us all the time.

“We’re there to entertain. If people are coming to a recital we want to provide really good performances.

“I think that for some people music is a way of getting away from normal life.

“We all need that sort of oasis of calm in our lives. It’s something that takes us above the humdrum to a whole other world. This is what we hear from audiences all the time.

“Its vital for our mental wellbeing.”

Full details of the 2018-19 recital series can be found on its website,