Gerard le Feuvre is an accomplished cellist and composer. He set up the Kings Chamber Orchestra in 1985, which is staffed by professional musicians who are also Christians. They will be performing at Big Church Day Out. bigchurchdayout.com
How did you become a Christian? I became a Christian in a forest in Scandinavia in 1984. As far as I knew, I wasn’t even searching. I was at the height of my arrogant powers as a cellist with lots of solo performances. Everything went very quiet, the birds stopped singing and the trees stopped [swaying], and it freaked me out. I heard the voice of Jesus say, ‘And now you will worship me’. I got on my knees, and spent what I think was hours crying over all the things I have done wrong, and giving it to God. My grandmother was a Christian and she had prayed for me for 20 years. That for me is a major reason for my supernatural encounter. How has God helped you in your career? In my early career, particularly when I played as a soloist, I looked for more success than I was having. At one point I played a concerto in Sweden. Some years passed, and I was invited back to do the same piece with the same conductor. He was absolutely shocked at the player I had become. He said my playing had been loud, powerful and fast [before], but had had no soul. Six years later I was a huge song on legs, and the soul was pouring out of my playing. I said I had learned to worship Jesus on my instrument. Is it difficult to be a Christian in the arts? Very difficult. The arts in general are dominated by expressions of rebellion. Many people get their selfworth by being noticed, and it’s always possible to be noticed if you are rebellious and outrageous. The arts regard themselves as a world which moral boundaries shouldn’t touch. Are performances of music more sacred if they are done by Christians? I think it can make a wonderful difference when people believe, and Handel’s Messiah is an interesting case in point. Handel had experienced a vast personal humiliation and financial tragedy, and he could easily have been bitter, being lambasted in the press and laughed at, at the time he wrote it. [The Messiah] was in fact his response, rooted in his faith, forgiveness and joy in the Lord, to all the difficulties he faced. It is a towering statement. Do you ever talk about your faith when in secular orchestras or groups? Absolutely. I’ve had the privilege of bringing a number of musicians to Jesus over the years. There are many examples of colleagues who I have counselled and prayed with, as I knew God would demonstrate his love for them by meeting their need, even though they didn’t know him. Can you tell us something amazing that God has done in your life? I wasn’t a Christian when it happened, but I jumped out of a plane to raise money for an ambulance, and my parachute didn’t open properly. I landed on a concrete runway at over 100mph and should have died. I couldn’t walk properly for four years. I still think about my grandma’s prayers. I was given chance after chance in my life. When I became a Christian, my mother freaked out about it, and after a while made it clear she didn’t want me to talk about Jesus. Many years later, she suddenly collapsed and was in intensive care by the time I got to her. Her condition was critical and the hospital gave us no hope. I prayed over her for two days. I left the hospital and in the next hours, she opened her eyes and made a complete recovery in a split second. She had had a damaged heart and collapsed lungs. It was an absolute miracle. She explained that wherever she was in her coma, she had met Jesus. She emerged from that experience a Christian, and with a new heart. Things like that have kept me so grateful to God for how powerful he is.