excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (236 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (236 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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It was Robert Mayer Children's Concerts which hooked me on the Festival Hall. My school would take group of us on Saturday mornings, and once I'd got the habit, there was no staying away. For a schoolgirl it offered an alluring mix : the adventure of going on an outing; and the excitement of experiencing live music, played by real people at that very moment and not mediated through wireless or gramophone. And the introductions we were given by the genial conductor (do I remember rightly that his name was Trevor Harvey?) were a delight.He had the gift of explaining with a light touch the treats in store; we managed to be better-informed and flattered all at once. The breadth of the programmes was impressive, and it confirmed in me a love of music - and of the Festival Hall, full of happy associations - which have stayed with me through my life. As a footnote, I remember that when Sir Robert Mayer's 80th birthday came up, I and another girl from school went to visit the great man with a present and good wishes from all the pupils. He welcomed us graciously and we sat, awed, in his drawing room as he treated us as grown-ups. His accessibility, affection for young people and complete lack of pretention was mirrored in Childrens Concerts which he founded. To him and to them I shall always be grateful.

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excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (236 words)


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