In The News

Broadcaster and music critic John Amis passes away

Broadcaster and music critic John Amis passes away

TRIBUTES have been paid to the broadcaster and music critic John Amis who has passed away at the age of 91.

He was well known as having been a panel member on the BBC radio quiz show My Music. He had joined the show in 1974 and remained on the panel, alongside comedy writers Denis Norden and Frank Muir, until 1994.

Having once considered becoming a professional singer, he had instead turned to music criticism and broadcasting — although he did sing in the 1967 recording of Bernard Herrman’s cantata, Moby Dick, and made his operatic debut in 1990 as the Emperor in a production of Turandot.

At various times during his career he wrote a column for The Tablet, deputised as London music critic for The Scotsman, and wrote for The Guardian. His work for the BBC included conducting more than 500 interviews with distinguished musicians (see below). His Music Now magazine programme ran for many years on Radio 3, and he also produced and presented many music documentaries.

As a young man, he had worked for Sir Thomas Beecham and later for Myra Hess. He had also spent time in the office of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

For more than 30 years (1948-1981) he acted as administrator of the summer music courses directed by William Glock, helping recruit a long line of famous tutors including Igor Stravinsky and Sir Michael Tippett.

Mr. Amis married the violinist Olive Zorian in 1948, but they divorced in 1955.

To see footage of Mr. Amis giving a speech at the Malcolm Arnold Festival in 2011, click here.

To listen to an interview Mr. Amis conducted with Carlo Maria Giulini, click here.

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