Magazine article Musical Opinion

Obituary: Geraint Jones

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Obituary: Geraint Jones

Article excerpt

first met Geraint Jones in the National Gallery during the Sec ond World War at one of Dame Myra Hess's legendary concerts, but I did not get to know him until 1951 when Kirsten Flagstad invited me to one of the rehearsals of Purcell's Dido and Aenaes with which Bernhard Miles opened his Mermaid Theatre and for which they used Geraint's then new performing edition. He was already well known as an organist and conductor who worked regularly on the BBC's Third Programme. Although his speciality lay in the Baroque period he was very interested in the direction taken by contemporary composers and his enthusiasm for good music in many genres infected the young musicians he taught and encouraged throughout his life.

Readers to Musical Opinion will have read regular reviews of young artists presented by the Kirckman Concert Society of which Geraint Jones was both Founder and Director. He selected these performers not only for their musicianship and technique but also because he felt that they were ready to be launched upon a professional career. Among the many young Kirckman artists to blossom into international fame were Sheila Armstrong, Imogen Cooper, Steven Isserlis, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Stephen Bishop Kovacevich, John Lill, Felicity Palmer, Margaret Price and many others.

It was through Myra Hess that Geraint met the violinist Winifred Roberts whom he married in 1949 and with whom he gave many concerts, often accompanying her on the harpsichord. She was one of the musicians who paid an eightieth birthday tribute to him at the Wigmore Hall on 30 May 1997, two weeks after the actual event. …

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