excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (341 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (341 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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I first went to the Festival Hall in May 1953  at the age of 14 , to a Saturday morning Robert Mayer concert for children. The visit was organised by the music mistress at school. The overture Cockaigne was played. After that I was a regular concert goer often rushing after school to get a standing ticket for recitals by Artur Rubinstein, and later taking the morning off work to queue up on the first day of booking for concerts by Rubinstein, Arrau and other outstanding musicians. I also went to the Recital Room (now closed) to hear Iso Elinson playing the complete Beethoven sonatas in 7 recitals, about 1956. I was hearing some of these sonatas for the first time, and I went home elated by the sounds of the Waldstein and the Appassionata. Later during the 1960s and 1970s I was fascinated to notice that the front 2 seats, centre gangway, (row B) were always occupied by the same two concert goers at every major comcert. A blond lady  and a large grey haired man. I used to look out for them. The man would take his place first, and the brightly dressed woman would rush in just as the padded sound proof doors closed. How di they manage to get the same seats on every occasion?  The mystery was solved years later, about 1989, by my 10 year old son, who heard a radio interview of the daughter of the Box Office Manager.  My son had heard me mention these people and was astute enought to pick up the interview and tell me. I believe her name was Yvonne (Tegler?)  She had spend a great deal of time with her father in the Box Office as a child, and this explains why she managed to procure such a good seat.  Years later by coincidence I spotted her on the Underground Northern Line, and was able to speak to her about the concerts.  The man who sat next to her had died  many years ago.Does anyone else remember Yvonne, and have I got the surname correct?

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