Oliver Soden

Oliver Soden
Author and Broadcaster

Oliver Soden is a writer and broadcaster, and the author of Michael Tippett: The Biography. Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in April 2019, the biography was hailed by Philip Pullman as a “delight to read”; by the Spectator as an “exceptional piece of work”; and by Gramophone as “nothing short of miraculous”. A 2019 “summer book” in the Times Literary Supplement, it was read (by the author) for BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, with Sir Derek Jacobi playing Tippett.

Oliver was educated at Lancing College in Sussex, and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he took a double first in English. For his research on Michael Tippett he was awarded a Fellowship in the Humanities from the University of Texas at Austin. His essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the GuardianSpectatorLiterary ReviewGramophoneThe Art NewspaperBBC Music Magazine, and Musical Quarterly, and he is the editor of John Barton’s ten-play epic Tantalus. He has appeared as a guest on the Six O’Clock News (BBC Radio 4), Proms Plus, Twenty MinutesMusic MattersComposer of the Week, and Live in Concert (BBC Radio 3).

Oliver has worked as an assistant producer for a number of award-winning television documentaries, including George III: The Genius of the Mad King and Janet Baker: In Her Own Words (Crux productions); he is part of the team behind BBC Radio 3’s long-running programme Private Passions.

Born in 1990, he grew up in Bath and Sussex, and lives in London. He is currently working on a biography, the first in a quarter-century, of Noël Coward, with the full authorisation of the Coward Estate and unrestricted archival access.