Popular lecturer dies

April 16, 2018 by norman lebrecht


The pre-concert and tour lecturer Roderick Swanston died last Thursday.

A benign character, Roddy was never at a loss for an illuminating word.

Comments (6)

  1. Caroline Zoob (Simcoe-Gerson) says:

    Professor Roddy Swanston’s lectures were one of the highlights of my 3 undergraduate years at the RCM. Lecturing to everyone on the ARCM performer’s course, he reeled us in with wit and humour and then delivered lectures of such depth and erudition that I cannot believe they are not sealed in the memories of all who attended them.

    1. Nakako Watanabe says:

      I am devastated by the great loss of the most prolific lecturer I ever came across in my life.
      MCS Young Artists has been very lucky to have him as the main commentator for various events including our Haydn Series, Opera Series and the Legend Series in which he thrilled the attendees with his interesting lively talk and there were more to come.
      His charming but very original character and his incredibly sharp wit combined with his deep knowledge is irreplaceable will be deeply missed.
      Our profound gratitude and respect to Prof. Swanston.
      MCS Young Artists
      Nakako Watanabe

  2. Garry Humphreys says:

    I’m shocked, to say the least, to hear of Roddy’s death. Larger than life in every respect, he was a splendid fellow and a superb musician whom I’ve known in various guises from the 1970s/80s, probably originally via St Vedast’s, Foster Lane, when, with Donald Storer (a two-man choir!), I regularly sang there and Roddy often played the organ. I do hope he will be suitably commemorated.

  3. Gordon Drury says:

    Roderick was a popular lecturer at Dillington House in Somerset where his humour, erudition and friendliness will be much missed. He was always able to add new aspects to ordinary subjects and to enthuse his students. His last course there was in February this year on William Byrd and was greatly enjoyed by his band of loyal followers.

  4. Clare Ford-Wille says:

    I have only just heard of this very sad news. I worked together with Roddy over many years for the Extra Mural Department of London University, then after that for Birkbeck. He was an extraordinary illuminating lecturer and someone who was enormous fun to work with too.

  5. Pauline Greene says:

    I too worked with Roddy for many years at Birkbeck, and at the Westonbirt Summer School. I am deeply saddened by his sudden death, and also sad that Birkbeck was not able to be represented at his funeral – the news has been slow to spread. I am hoping to hold a Birkbeck gathering in his memory, for former colleagues and students, who gained so much from his knowledge and the ebullient way in which he taught.

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