How to turn 30 in the best possible way

How to turn 30 in the best possible way


norman lebrecht

May 31, 2011

The cellist Guy Johnston is putting his youth behind him this Thursday.

No more BBC Young Musician of the Year. No more poster boy for a big agency.

Lovely Guy – he really is – is setting his sights on playing the music he craves with the people he likes best – and in aid of those who need it most.

His birthday party will double as a benefit concert for the Musicians Belevolent Fund and Eyes Alight, a rehab centre for people with brain injuries. There’s a good reason for the gesture. Guy’s brother, Rupert, a horn player in the National Youth Orchestra, suffered terrible injuries in a car smash when he was 15. He still plays the horn every day, I’m told, but cannot live an independent life.

Appearing with Guy in the birthday concert at St John’s Smith Square are soloists Jack Liebeck and  Melvyn Tan, conductor Stephen Cleobury and the composer Mark Anthony Turnage, who is reworking his Goodbye 20s piece for the occasion. Mark and his wife Gabi Swallow will be talking about it on Radio 3’s In Tune at 4.30 this afternoon.

Happy 30, Guy!

Here’s an Eyes Alight promo:

One step at a time – together we can make Brain Injury Rehabilitation a little bit brighter…
Click on the tree branches and roots
to find out more or scroll down

Rupert and Izzy


Brain Injury Rehabilitation can be a long journey and every day brings a fresh challenge.

What if you could help someone going through this often daunting and difficult process?

The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) is teaming up with Escala violinist Izzy Johnston to launch our Eyes Alight appeal.

The Eyes Alight appeal hopes to raise over £100,000 which BIRT will use to pay for those little extras for its service users. This could be anything from going to see their favourite football team play, to enjoying an afternoon with friends and family or purchasing new arts and craft materials. It’s the little things that will give service users something to look forward to and that says ‘keep going you can do this’ while they are following neuro-rehabilitation programmes.

How you can help

You can donate online to the appeal by clicking here or at the bottom of the tree above. Your kind donation will help us to fulfil the wishes and dreams of some of our current service users and literally help us to make Eyes Alight.

Want to do your own fundraising to help the appeal?

Visit our fundraising pages to get some ideas. Contact us on 01444 237286 or for a fundraising pack to get you started.

Find us on Facebook by clicking here

Why not share the link with your friends to show that you are supporting the campaign or post on our Facebookpage to keep us updated with all your fundraising activities.

Follow us on Twitter, throughout the course of the campaign we will be regularly tweeting about all the events as they happen and we’ll keep you up to date about the totals that are being raised. Click here to visit our twitter page and start following us!