Social and personal: Classical trumpet marries Bond director

The effervescent trumpet soloist Alison Balsom married the Hollywood director Sam Mendes at the weekend.

Balsom, 38, was previously involved with the conductor Edward Gardner, with whom she has a son.

Mendes, 51, was formerly with the actor Kate Winslet.

We wish them well.


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  • Interesting choice of adjective: ‘effervescent’. A posh word for ‘bubbly’. And why was Balsom ‘involved with’ her previous partner. Whilst Mendes was simply ‘with’ his? Perhaps that’s just a small rhetorical flourish. But it’s curious how gendered the language can appear in such a short statement.

  • The Times report on this says “The award-winning director, 51 and Balsom, 38, who plays the trumpet”. Seems patronising to me. She’s won loads of awards too.

    • I believe that’s down to journalistic convention. Since Mendes has presumably already been mentioned in the article, he isn’t identified again by name, but by a description. I assume that if Balsom were to be mentioned again later in the article they would probably do the same. And to be fair to The Times, they probably know that their readers will have heard of Sam Mendes because he won an Oscar for American Beauty and was married to Kate Winslet, whereas, Alison Balsom will not be widely known by people who have no interest in classical music.

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