John Amis – A Concert in Celebration, October 8th 2013 at St Paul’s Knightsbridge

We all hope you can come to the John Amis Concert on 8th October at St Paul’s Knightsbridge at 12 noon. The concert has been developed with the assistance of Isla Baring, Michael Rose, Steuart Bedford and Denis Moriarty and will be a fitting celebration of his life and work. Please come … and in the spirit of John, colourful clothing and flamboyant dress will be the order of the day!

Steuart Bedford, Conductor
Steuart Bedford, Conductor

We are delighted to announce that the Faust Ensemble, an exciting new chamber orchestra in London, founded by conductor Mark Austin, will be playing. One of John’s oldest friends, Steuart Bedford , who recently conducted Grimes on the Beach as part of the Aldeburgh Festival, has graciously agreed to conduct the Britten Tippett and Walton, Aldeburgh Variations and the Grainger, Handel in the Strand with Jayson Gillham playing the fiendishly difficult piano part. Mark Austin, will conduct the Britten, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal with the young Australian tenor, Christopher Diffey This song was removed from the famous, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings for no other reason than the composer wished to have one poem from each poet in his cycle. A condition for public performance is that it may only be done on its own. The song was first recorded by Steuart Bedford in 1987. Mark will also conduct the trio from Cosi fan tutte, Soave sia il vento with Elena Xanthoudakis, Lauren Fagan and Morgan Pearse and will conduct Lauren Fagan in Handel’s Largo, Ombra mai fu.

John Amis
John Amis

Elena will also sing one of John’s favourite songs, L’invitation au voyage by Duparc accompanied by Mark Austin on the piano. A treat will be to hear celebrated flautist, Phillippa Davies playing a flute sonata by Poulenc accompanied by Jan Willem Neileke, piano

Faust Ensemble
Faust Ensemble

The concert will include memories of John by old friends and colleagues, David Cairns CBE and former head of Dartington, Gavin Henderson CBE. The Trogs, the administrative staff at Dartington, will be represented by Jeremy Barker,. Recordings of John singing with Donald Swann will delight and show the lighter side to one of the great men of modern British music.



Salut d’amour (Elgar): whistled by John Amis Amiscellany CD

Sonata for flute and piano (Poulenc): Philippa Davies, flute & Jan Willem Neileke, piano

David Cairns CBE

L’invitation au voyage (Duparc): Elena Xanthoudakis, soprano & Mark Austin, piano

Ombra mai fù (Handel): Lauren Fagan, soprano & Faust Ensemble cond. by Mark Austin

Variations on an Elizabethan Theme (Sellenger’s Round) -Variations 2,4 & 6 (Tippett, Britten & Walton): Faust Ensemble cond. Steuart Bedford

Handel in the Strand (Grainger): Jayson Gillham, piano & Faust Ensemble cond. Steuart Bedford

Now sleeps the crimson petal (Britten): Christopher Diffey & Faust Ensemble cond. Mark Austin

Soave sia il vento from Così fan tutte (Mozart): Elena Xanthoudakis, Lauren Fagan & Morgan Pearse, with Faust Ensemble cond. Mark Austin

Gavin Henderson CBE

Bilbo’s last song (Swann): John Amis & Donald Swann Amiscellany CD

Trogs of Dartington

Yes we have no bananas: John Amis My Music tape, CD

Tutto nel mondo è burla from Falstaff (Verdi): London Symphony Orchestra & cast cond. Sir Colin Davis CD

John Amis has left a remarkable archive of interviews – more than 500 – with some of the most famous and influential musicians of our age – including Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Myra Hess, Earl Wild, Sergiu Celibidache, Percy Grainger, Leopold Stokowski and many many more… Broadcaster and musical polymath John Amis celebrated his 90th birthday with a retrospective on his career broadcast on BBC Radio 3. After turning pages for Myra Hess as a youth and his early years as a concert manager for Sir Thomas Beecham, to organising the Summer School of Music with William Glock at Dartington, and his many, many links and associations with some of the most important names in music in the post war years, Amis enjoys an astonishingly comprehensive artistic legacy – something he has succesfully shared over forty years as a much loved broadcaster. He is fondly remembered as a presenter of several music magazine programmes on BBC radio, and as a panellist on the television and radio quiz show, “My Music”. His extensive BBC archive of his many interviews, includes Britten reading a letter he wrote to Tippett, Earl Wild on improvisation, Frankie Howerd on his musical roles, Percy Grainger on folk music, and much much more.


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