Saturday, February 20, 2010

ABC and music in country Australia

Paul Barratt had two very interesting posts on the role that the ABC played in bringing music to country Australia: The ABC and music to country Australia and Isaac Stern and the town hall piano.

As it happened, the print edition of The Armidale Express has just carried a story - it's not on-line - of the expenditure by Armidale-Dumaresq Council of a rather large sum of money to have the piano that Paul referred to in the second story restored to proper concert standard.     

Today is music is far more available than it was then. The impact of the ABC concerts was indeed quite profound. Unlike Paul, I am not an especially musical person, but I still enjoyed them.

As I read  the story, I thought of one of Paul's class mates at The Armidale School, Philip Bailey.    

After taking degrees in Agricultural Economics and in Education, Phil became a teacher. From 1974, he taught in Britain for two years before joining the staff of violinist Yehudi Menuhin.  Over the next twenty two years, Phil and partner Tim Coupland (Tim was in my year at TAS) serv25 Jan1978 Philip Bailey with Yehudi Menuhined the Menuhins in various capacities. Between these commitments, they established an antique restoration business in London, an enterprise generously supported by both Yehudi and wife Diana.

The photo shows Philip Bailey with Yehudi Menuhin at NASA's Apollo lunar mission launch site on Cape Canaveral, Florida, during filming of The Music of Man television series.

Phil has just published the first, Yehudiana, Reliving the Menuhin Odyssey, of a two part series on the violinist's life tracing the Menuhin odyssey from anti-Semitic pogroms of late nineteenth-century Russia to 1947 on the eve of Yehudi's second marriage. 

When I look at my the people I knew at school, the different directions we have all gone never ceases to amaze me.

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