Monday, April 11, 2016

Farewell to an unforgettable broadcaster

Jeremy Siepmann
Very sad to see that Jeremy Siepmann, the critic, broadcaster and writer has died, aged 74.

I grew up listening to his mellifluous broadcasts, in conversational Bostonian baritone, on BBC Radio 3, where he often presented the forerunner of today's In Tune; his line-up of music often seemed the most interesting, exciting and sympathetic on offer. He was as fine a writer as he was a presenter and produced a number of biographies and the 'Life and Works' series on Naxos. He was a fine pianist himself and the piano remained, I think, his first love. When I went into journalism I was overjoyed to meet him, and in my five years as editor of Piano Magazine (in its initial title of Classical Piano) I commissioned a lot of articles from him. When I left, he took over as editor and held the post for many years, filling the publication with the sort of fascinating material - notably a "symposium" approach, in which a collection of different pianists would talk about the same composer or the same issue - that you just couldn't find in many others.

He was a lovely person: idealistic, gentle, enormously knowledgeable and full of terrific anecdotes, a fount of information about the world of music and musicians; I particularly remember interviewing him about Jacqueline du Pré, whom he knew well. Here is a full obituary from the Telegraph.