Saturday, April 04, 2015

Farewell, Dennis Marks (1948 - 2015)

Dennis Marks in Budapest, 2000 (Photo: BBC)
The music business is in shock at the news that Dennis Marks, former head of BBC Music and one-time general director of English National Opera, has died of leukaemia at the age of 66. Dennis was a dear friend and deeply supportive in times of trouble, besides being a true polymath with a massive inner library of cultural knowledge and apparently endless spheres of interest. Having not seen him around his usual haunts in some time, I had blithely assumed he was busy writing a book or some radio scripts. Alas, this can't have been the case. All our thoughts and love go to his widow, Sally Groves.

One of my favourite memories of Dennis dates from my launch bash for Songs of Triumphant Love in 2009. After a drinks party in Daunt Books, Marylebone High Street, a bunch of us sloped off for an Italian meal nearby. It was August and Glyndebourne was in full swing; there my husband had made friends with Adriana Kucerova and Jennifer Holloway, who were starring in a spot of Humperdinck, and they turned up to the do and joined us for dinner. At the long table, Dennis chose us all some tasty Sicilian red wine, then phoned home and declared: "I'm in Strada with Hansel and Gretel."

Here is a fine obituary from the Telegraph.