Raconteur, wit, music critic and stalwart of the BBC’s My Music program passes at the age of 91.
The popular British broadcaster, classical music critic and writer John Amis has died at the age of 91. A frequent contributor for The Guardian newspaper and a familiar voice and face on BBC radio and television he will be best remembered as a panellist on My Music from 1974-1994 and for his genial autobiography, Amiscellany.
Born in Dulwich, London, in 1922, Amis was cousin to the novelist Kingsley Amis and was educated at Dulwich College. It was there that he met lifelong friend Donald Swann whose duet partner he became following the death of Michael Flanders. After working in a bank for five and a half weeks he jumped ship to earn a living in music first as a gramophone record salesman (Edith Sitwell, T S Eliot, Peter Ustinov and Vivien Leigh were customers), and then as an orchestra manager (at one point turning pages for Dame Myra Hess). In 1946 he became the music critic for The Scotsmanand for several years was manager for Sir Thomas Beecham.
It was Sir William Glock who invited him to run a summer school...