A bit about me:
I was a war baby, son of a British diplomat and of a French singer. I spent the first few years of his life in a Japanese internment camp in Manila, Philippines. Rescued by US Marines and Filipino guerrillas, semi-starved. I’ve enjoyed food ever since. And I fulfilled a vow I made during the camp where the inmates had to stand in line every day and bow to the Japanese officer. When the Emperor came on a state visit to Britain many years later, I turned round, bowed and presented my bottom to the Japanese Head of State.
I went to Trinity College Dublin in the early sixties, a time of radical cultural change in Britain and Ireland. The eccentric experience of those years at university is captured in the book I helped to edit, Trinity Tales. Trinity College Dublin in the Sixties (Dublin: The Lilliput Press, 2009).
I was lucky to have as a stepfather, Sir William Glock, the Controller of BBC Music in the 60s and 70s, a man who transformed the stuffy Radio Three and the conservative Proms of the fifties into an exciting mixture of a wide range of styles of music and interpretation. Through him, I met Stravinsky (and had a conversation with him about a star), got to know Fischer-Dieskau, became friends with the Amadeus string quartet (and sat in on their rehearsals) and a host of other performers and composers.
And so music became a passion for me.
Another passion has been Spanish history and Catalonia. With my wife, Gráinne, I have a house in the mountains south of Barcelona in the smallest village in the region with a mayor. I even took part in a Castellers’ performance, where Catalans build a human castle of up to 11 stories. I wisely remained on the ground floor in the pinya, which helps to support the whole structure.