Musical Director Gareth Valentine poses behind staircase spindles in his London home.

legendary west end musical director

Looking at Gareth Valentine's list of show credits you'd be forgiven for thinking he's the only musical director in London. He's worked on just about everything from Cats, Miss Saigon, Cabaret, Acorn Antiques!, 42nd Street and Sondheim at 80. Classically trained, Gareth has worked his way up through the business and truly earned his spurs.

"Classical music," he tells me, "is the foundation of all music. It's like ballet is to dance." But despite his prodigious musical skill, you soon realise the other key to Gareth's success. Likeability. He's funny, kind, generous and simply good to be around. He's someone you want in the room when it really counts. Someone to keep spirits up and wits sharp. It's those qualities that have earned him this year's high stakes gig conducting the Olivier Awards and will soon will take him to Paris and the US.

Beyond music he's a proud Welshman and serious Crystal Palace fan. During our shoot his phone never left his side as he was on hold to buy a season ticket. As I said goodbye he was "number two in the queue". I hope it got it!

Musical Director Gareth Valentine wearing a fuck the tories t-shirt.
Welch Musical Director Gareth Valentine cheers on Crystal Palace F.C.

at home - a long-term book project

This At Home series gives me access to the homes of people I admire and respect. I am deeply grateful for their trust in letting me into their private spaces to photograph them and capture a real insight into what makes them tick.

Unlike shooting weddings which can be quite hectic, these photo shoots usually give me time to get to know my subject and experiment with different locations and ideas. My background is in portraiture and street photography and I love trying to capture a person’s essence in a photograph. I am a curious person by nature and always want to know the real story, what a person is really like behind their public facade.

Photographer Gary Williams


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