British director Christopher Nupen, who was born in South Africa, specializes in movies on musicians’ lives. On February 19, 2023, he died.
He appeared as a guest on Private Passions, a BBC Radio 3 discussion show on musicians’ lives, in January 2008.
He discussed his several award-winning films, the musicians he met—many of whom would go on to become lifelong friends—and his varied and frequently remarkable personal life in his book Listening through the lens, which was published in 2019.
Who Was Christopher Nupen? Bafta-winning filmmaker dead aged 88
Christopher Nupen was born on September 30, 1934, to Norwegian immigrants in South Africa. His mother was Claire (Doombie) Nupen, née Meikle, and his father was E. P. “Buster” Nupen (1902–1977), a Test cricketer.
After completing his legal studies at the university, he relocated to Britain to work in finance before receiving BBC sound engineering training.
He created the BBC Radio Three documentary High Festival In Siena on the summer music program at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena in 1962. Huw Weldon then invited him to continue producing documentaries for the BBC.
One of the first independent television production firms in the UK, Allegro Films, was formed by him in 1968. Afterward, he contributed to more than 80 musical films and television shows.
Beginning with Double Concerto in 1966, which featured the partnership of Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Barenboim, he pioneered a new, intimate style of biographical film using newly developed silent 16mm film cameras.