Nigel Kennedy enjoys a snack of biscuits, and tea is sipped from an Aston Villa cup. It’s 10.30am: practically the crack of dawn, given that he was up necking plum vodka — ‘My wife made it. It is what I drink. Teamwork!’ he cries — until the early hours.

Villa’s vintage “away” strips are worn by the violinist, a virtuoso musician. It’s so beautiful! He chortles.

As a boy, his loyalty to Birmingham is just as strong as his dedication to classical music.

His 1989 recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has sold over 3 million copies. It is the most-sold classical recording. As he published Nigel Kennedy Uncensored! today, an illuminating, uncensored memoir that he rips into his enemies and condemns the BBC for its descent into political correctness,

Virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy talks about drugs, sex and all-night partying in his memoirs

Virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy talks about drugs, sex and all-night partying in his memoirs

He talks about drugs (yes, he smokes cannabis), sex, all-night partying — and how he’s standing by his son Sark, 25, jailed earlier this month for drug-dealing after being caught with £15,500 worth of cocaine in his car.

He knows I will offer an alternate life for him and I know that he loves me. He will be seeing me soon in prison so that I can remind him.

“I only hope that he will succeed in the things he wants to accomplish, which is to transform his life and make it better. He won’t be able to hold me by my ear. That’s not where I belong.

“We all have relatives in Australia, and it would make a great opportunity for us to begin a new life together. He’s an adult. Although you can offer people many opportunities, they still have to decide for themselves.

Nigel Kennedy (64) is an ardent believer and man of strong loyalties. I was expecting braggadocio and bluster. It was surprising to discover humour and the ability to charm. I’m talking to him via Zoom, from his studio in the timber house. It is located far away in the Polish countryside. He shares it with Agnieszka (43), their second wife and an elderly weimaraner named Huxley.

“We are in the wild.” He exclaims that there are bears but they are shy and not as aggressive as American grizzlies or wolves. ‘We’ve got a huge vegetable patch — Agnieszka instigated it — and beehives. We go hiking!’

Provocative has been his trademark: His long, wavy hair and stage appearance make him a provocateur. Long ago he eschewed the performer’s traditional black tailcoat — the outfit of a ‘poncing underpaid butler’, as he puts it — and often performs wearing bovver boots, cargo pants and his football jersey. While the stout elite deplore his anarchism, his large fanbase applauds him for his commitment to classical music.

Nigel Kennedy (right) with Bob Geldof at the 'Backbeat' Party in 1994, as Beatlemania rocked back to Britain for the premiere of a film about the Beatles' early days

Bob Geldof (right) and Nigel Kennedy (left) at the 1994 ‘Backbeat Party, when Beatlemania came back to Britain for a premiere of the film “Beatlemania’s early days”.

His nicknames include the “punk violinist” and, more ironically, the “later-day Liberace”, who is known for his outrageous clothes. This is Sir John Drummond (former director of BBC Radio 3 and controller of BBC Radio 3)

He points out that Sir John — an ‘elite toff’ — at times garnered as few as 250 listeners at Radio 3, turning it into ‘an unattainable exclusive club’. Kennedy, an illustrious alumnus at the Yehudi menuhin School, was filling the Royal Albert Hall with 5,000 people.

“And I don’t think that he [Sir John]He also played Liberace’s piano,’ he said. “He was a strictist. He didn’t like Liberace’s white piano and candelabra. Liberace was not a person I liked, however, he was an excellent pianist.

Kennedy also laments that the taxpayer-funded BBC is now ‘a teeth-gnashing and pitiful institution, desperately trying to be politically correct’. He concludes: “Public reaction to this self indulgence is already taking shape in the form of more apathy, resentment which will invariably lead to refusing to pay the licence fees and the abandonment of television in general for the internet.”

Kennedy names one BBC First Night of the Proms the “Farce Night”, decrying the BBC’s ‘tedious despair’ in trying to improve its wake credentials. Kennedy did this after one performer dedicated her performance for ‘transgender individuals all over the world”.

Nigel Kennedy as a young boy, holding his violin while he met the Queen Mother in the early 1960s

Nigel Kennedy, a young boy holding his violin as he meets the Queen Mother during the 1960s

‘What for? Why?’ Incredulously, he questions. “That kind of superficial, irrelevant claptrap was just too much for me. It had absolutely nothing to do the music that she was playing, except she didn’t believe it could stand on its own.”

To think we have to pay a license fee just so that this type of talking can be heard. While I am respectful of all genders, meritocracy and equality are what we seek. Insistence on equal outcomes and quotas. . . There should be equal opportunities for all people as long as everyone is willing to work hard.

Kennedy was never afraid to express his opinions and was ready to comment on the comments of the singer.

'I¿ve experienced a mixed feeling or two about the toffs waving Union Jacks. I found myself a bit averse to all of that jingoism, but now that everyone in the media is so anti-white British my feelings have become a bit more tolerant. Every other group of people is allowed to talk about their race and big it up'

“I have had mixed feelings about Union Jack waving toffs. I used to be a little averse towards all that jingoism. But, now that the media has become so anti-white British, my feelings are a lot more open. All other groups are allowed to discuss their race and make it big’

Vaughan Williams was to perform his The Lark Ascending, Monti’s Czardas. He recalls that he quipped to the singer in the same bleating way. ‘

The lighthearted response was met with disappointment. Two women from the viola section gave him a ‘unamused glower’. He also said that the conductor seemed unsupportive.

Nigel Kennedy's son Sark Yves Amadeus Kennedy (pictured), 25, was found guilty of drug dealing and jailed for 33 months after £15,500 worth of cocaine was found in his car

Nigel Kennedy’s son Sark Yves Amadeus Kennedy (pictured), 25, was found guilty of drug dealing and jailed for 33 months after £15,500 worth of cocaine was found in his car

“I am aware of people who suffer from a lack of sense-of humor and wish them speedy recovery.”

Although he’s Left-wing, and strongly anti-elitist he finds that his sympathies now tend to be towards the middle class white British.

“I’ve been to the Proms a lot of times and had some good experiences. There have been times when I felt mixed feelings about Union Jack-waving toffs. First, I was initially averse towards all that jingoism. But, now that the media has become so anti-white British, my feelings are a lot more open to it. All other groups are allowed to discuss their race and make it big.

“And once the Scottish leave the UK, then we will not see the Union Jack anymore. That’s sad, as it is a killer. [great]Looking for flag.

He has been made persona nongrata by the BBC for his unfashionable views. “They will not make any shows together with me anymore.” Jimmy Savile thought I was okay, but it seems that I am not.

A dissident from childhood, his musical talents were matched only by rebellion and an incredible capacity for partying.

Do you still like a good shindig? ‘Of course! When you are trying to perform the best for people who have paid, there is a lot adrenaline pumping through your body.

Although Kennedy is left-wing and fervently anti-elitist, he now finds his sympathies veering towards the white British middle classes

Kennedy was left-leaning, and is fervently antielitist. But he finds that his sympathies are now shifting to the middle class white British. 

“Afterwards, it’s great to spend time with your friends. Many times, I will invite people to my parties. Everyone’s welcome.’

Famous for his epic parties,

(The Met comes out on top because he turned a blind eye during one revel at his home to the antics by the carousers, simply asking that they keep it down.

He proceeds to praise our police force, saying that it is an incredible privilege to be able live in a country without armed police. “The police join forces to improve society, and that is what we should remember.

“Maybe some behind the desks get a little too excited in the head but people living on the street are trying to help us. This is not an extremely well-paid job, and it comes with high expectations.

The fact that he uses cannabis is not hidden to him: “I love a good stogie.” This has allowed me to become the composer, improviser and interpreter of classical music that I am today.

The violinist is sceptical about man-made global warming but is an ardent environmentalist

Although skeptical about the man-made climate change, this violinist is passionately committed to environmental causes.

However, I am curious if his ability to can it has diminished with age.

“I think that you have a greater ability to handle alcohol with age. He questions me. He laughs as I inform him that I don’t drink anymore. “Well, it’s not worth you going to my party then!”

I asked him about his thoughts on cocaine. When his son, Sark — who lives with Nigel’s ex-wife, Eve, in Malvern — appeared at Worcester Crown Court earlier this month, he was jailed for 33 months after admitting possession with intent to supply the drug.

The court heard that he was selling ‘wraps’ of cocaine at £40 each after getting into debt since becoming addicted as a teenager, but was now determined to become a useful member of society.

It’s not something I appreciate. [cocaine] in my circles,’ Nigel says. I really dislike that kind of stuff. This doesn’t help the environment. It doesn’t improve the atmosphere. This makes you hyperactive and revitalizes your body. It’s not something you would find in a lot of tea-drinkers. He re-brews his tea and then takes another.

“My son knows my thoughts about it. I’m not allowed to say that he can’t. Give people options and let them make their decisions.

Are they a good father? He says, “You learn as you go.” However, practice doesn’t always make perfect.

“My son observes that there is a lot going on at my house, and he understands that in order to live a happy life you need to work hard.

Nigel has a formidable work ethic. Practices between 3 and 6 hours per day. He is constantly striving for improvement.

“It is quite monotonous, what I am doing. Music is my passion. The violin is my favorite instrument. I am a tireless student of it. It’s great if you have an exciting project, like the gig at Madison Square Garden. [the 20,000-seat New York arena], or if I’m writing something — I’ve just finished my first violin concerto — my life becomes very regulated.

“For the past few months, I’ve been completely without sex and alcohol. No parties nor any other recreational activities. You live a more purposeful life and this really helps.

What does Agnieszka think about the monastic lifestyle?

He laughs, “Oh I think that she’s quite happy about it.” “She doesn’t have to think about me.”

“And, you can still do some hiking.


They’ve been married for 23 years or so — he is hazy on dates and chronology, a fact that has got him into deep trouble with his wife, an actor and artistic director.

He giggles. “Well, you have learned from it,” said my mate. It’s not something you’ll forget the next time. It was me! I couldn’t buy her another car — Greta [Thunberg] wouldn’t like that — so I got her a toy one instead.’

The conversation turns to Greta and he refuses to listen.

“Relatively speaking, she’s just one child.” While he’s skeptical of the man-made climate change, he is passionate about environmental issues.

I hate the thought of dolphins swallowing plastic. I remember a time when plastic was not allowed in the supermarket. It should be addressed if they intend to continue it.

He loves a good rant. He says that he is likely to sell the West Sussex house at the South Downs. “The village has lost its postoffice and I replied, “When they get ridof the pub, I’m going.” And it’s now a terrible wedding venue. Isn’t that a crime?

He is easy going, funny, and provocative. But his childhood was anything but simple.

John, John’s father as a cellist left Nigel when he was just a baby and emigrated to Australia. Later, John returned to the Royal Philharmonic to serve as principal cellist. When Nigel was young, his mother Scylla (a pianist) remarried and moved to Birmingham from their native Brighton.

Nigel, the stepfather of a doctor was physically abusive towards Scylla. “As a child, I tried to jump on him once or twice and tried to stop him again but it ended in him following me around the house with his knife.

“It was terrible.”

He claims that he suffered a form of abandonment at the tender age of six when he was sent to Surrey’s Yehudi Menuhin School after he won a scholarship.

His talent was precocious and his determination to be a single-minded thinker were both remarkable. He was in his teens when he studied at New York’s Juilliard School. Stephane Grappelli, jazz violinist, invited him to perform at Carnegie Hall.

His teachers warned him that he might ruin his classical career, but he refused to listen, and he achieved amazing results. His challenge of authority and convention continued.

When he was flying to London from New York, he lost his “bat suit”, as he refers to it. This is how he ended up becoming the Punk violinist. He found himself in a situation where he didn’t have the right attire and went to Camden Market. It cost me less than 50 pounds to get all dressed up.

Since then, he has entertained and infuriated in equal measures. Refusing be defined, he has been performing with the rock elite: Paul McCartney with The Who, Led Zeppelin with The Who, and Roy Wood with Deep Purple with Jon Lord.

His philistinism will be criticized by music snobs forever. He claims that they have disparaged him even for his playing of Tchaikovsky.

‘His music is looked down upon by some pseudo experts as being below top level, and this sets my bulls***ometer right off into the red,’ he says.

“These fakes want to ignore this music. It has become so popular with classical audiences across the world.

He’s off on a tirade again, inveighing against ‘experts’ who ‘protect their status by pretending that something popular is s*** in order to appear as if they know more than us poor proletariat’.

“It seems like there is always an expert on any subject. From global warming to music and everything in between, they seem to know more than we do.

“But it’s just hot air, with no substance. Reminiscent of the Emperor and his new clothes.

He adds, “Mind You,” as a coda: “If Greta et all are to be believed, it won’t take long before neither the Emperor nor we will need any clothing.”

Nigel Kennedy Uncensored! by Nigel Kennedy is published by Fonthill Media, £25. To order a copy for £22.50 go to or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £20. The offer price is valid up to December 11, 2020.