Obituary: John Amis, British music critic and broadcaster, 91

Posted on: August 5, 2013

An unsigned obituary in Monday’s (8/5) Daily Telegraph (London) reports, “John Amis, who has died aged 91, had a walk-on role in many of the most important musical events and institutions of his era. He sold records to Sacheverell Sitwell; organised Myra Hess’s lunchtime concert series at the National Gallery; managed Anatole Fistoulari’s financially-challenged London International Orchestra; and formed an endearing stage duo with Donald Swann following the death of Michael Flanders. Amis was at the first Summer School of Music at Bryanston in 1948, before moving with it to Dartington five years later. He spent some 15 years as London music critic of The Scotsman, and latterly had his own one-man show, recounting anecdotes of concerts he had attended and musicians he had met. He was a friend to many composers and performers.… In late 1947 he joined Sir Thomas Beecham’s newly-formed Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, where his duties included running the concerts and printing posters and programmes. In his spare time he organised the first Hoffnung Festival at the Royal Festival Hall … Bryanston (1948-52) and Dartington (1953-81) Summer Schools of Music, where amateur musicians spent the summer coached by professionals.… For many years he appeared as a panellist in My Music alongside Steve Race, Denis Norden and Frank Muir.”

Posted August 5, 2013