Thursday, 19 November 2009

LES ARTS GSTAAD AND MY PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

A PROFESSIONAL's BIOGRAPHY

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In my long life I cannot say that I have had A career. But I have had the great luck to have collected the most enormous and wide practical professional experience in the performing arts. I have been, in turn: actor; stage manager; director and producer of plays, including my own companies in London and on tour, Brecht, Fassbinder; director and producer of opera, including my own chamber opera company in London, 'Central London Opera', Mozart, Cimarosa; I was City Arts Administrator of the City of Portsmouth, and inaugurated a series of orchestral concerts and recitals, ‘Music in Portsmouth’, as well as engaging theatre companies in the King’s Theatre and in other venues, and nurturing the Southampton/Portsmouth community theatre company; I was Administrator and Director of the City of Portsmouth Arts Festival; I inaugurated the City of Portsmouth International String Quartet Competition, and involved Yehudi Menuhin, who became its Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury. It is now the City of London International String Quartet Competition.

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I have twice presented the distinguished Flamenco guitarist Ian Davies, whom I managed, at London’s famous Wigmore Hall, and arranged for a free glass of sponsored sherry for each member of the audience. I have been Sponsorship Manager of the Piccadilly Festival in London. I directed the Richmond Arts Festival, and was responsible for the sponsorship of the events.

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On my travelling fellowship in Opera Production and Administration, awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust in 1969, I spent six rich months ‘living-in’ at the great European, and also the smaller, opera houses from Hamburg and Berlin to Salzburg and Prague, gathering insights on both sides of the footlights.

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I have directed, and have taught Speech and Drama, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Rose Bruford College, the East 15 Theatre School, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and at evening courses of the City Literary Institute, and at other institutes of the Inner London Education Authority. I was a Foyles Speaker in Interpersonal Communication. As correspondent of the Welwyn Times in 1951 I organised a child (3-18) art competition and exhibition involving 30 schools in Hertfordshire. As well as the London arts scene I have an insider’s knowledge of the arts scene of Berlin, the city of my birth.

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My long-standing hobby is the study of contemporary architecture in situ. Childhood influences: Berlin’s Jugenstil, Bauhaus, neoclassical and baroque; 1933 onwards Louis de Soissons, Town and Country Planning and Welwyn Garden City in neo-Georgian; 1951 my stealing into the Royal Festival Hall in London before it opened, and inspecting it from attic to cellars; 1952 Le Corbusier in Marseilles, and later his wondrous chapel at Ronchamp; Rogers, Foster, Libeskind, Gehry, Hadid, Pei, and recently, spending a night in the hotel of the Zitadelle in Magdeburg created by Hundertwasser. Today Renzo Piano, responsible for the new Potsdamer Platz city centre of my Berlin, is building a huge colourful development up the road from my Soho flat by Tottenham Court Road Corner...

1 comment:

Akira Dania said...

It was really an interesting professional biography of yours and I would say that you have really so great achievements in life and the most important thing is that you have explained it in very impressive manner so definitely you have also great writing skills.