Perservering with Percy (Grainger)

An evening with John Amis, Tuesday 11 October

British broadcaster, author and critic, John Amis is presenting an anniversary lecture which draws on his own historic interview with Percy Grainger for the Grainger Museum.

Tuesday 11 October, 6.00 – 7.00pm
Leigh Scott Room, first floor, Baillieu Library
University of Melbourne
Free admission
About John Amis


Six weeks in a bank was enough for him to decide to live by and with music. Working with orchestras (London Philharmonic, Symphony and Royal Philharmonic), organising concerts for Myra Hess at the National Gallery and for Michael Tippett, whose secretary and friend he was, concert manager for Thomas Beecham, music critic in London for The Scotsman, organiser of the Summer School of Music with William Glock at Bryanston and Dartington for 34 years, broadcaster on radio and TV for 40, during which time he interviewed 500 of the most famous or interesting (or both) musicians from Hindemith to Bernstein, from Cage to Swann, from Stravinsky to Stockhausen. Amis featured in the radio and TV quiz show ‘My Music’, still heard on Australian radio even though it started in 1968.

His books include an autobiography A miscellany, an anthology Words about Music and My Life in Music 1945–2000, articles and profiles, A Photographer at the Aldeburgh Festival (Nigel Luckhurst) and Musicians on Camera (Lelia Goehr). In The Gramophone David Cairns wrote of ‘My Music’ that ‘Amis is that rare phenomenon, a brilliant talker, mimic and story-teller who writes as vividly as he speaks … the book is monument to one of the most remarkable figures in our musical life.’

Percy Grainger (1882–1961)

The Australian born composer was also a pianist with an international career. His records of Chopin, Grieg, Brahms and his own music are still available. Grainger is the only well-known composer most of whose oeuvre is derived from folk material. Benjamin Britten said that Grainger was an arranger of genius.

Above: Portrait of John Amis by June Mendoza AO CBE.

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