Terrible news: music editor killed in car crash

Terrible news: music editor killed in car crash


norman lebrecht

January 31, 2012

News just in on the BBC: Robert Maycock has been killed in Kent when his car hit a tree.

Robert, 63, had been music editor of the Independent newspaper and, before that, of Classical Music magazine. I knew him well in both capacities and liked him a lot as a thoughtful, slightly quirky colleague. He was not, as the BBC claims, founding editor of CM, but the successor to the founder. In that job he was known and liked at every level of musical life in the UK, grass to palace.

He wrote a biography of Philip Glass and married a composer, Priti Paintal. he leaves two children. He will be widely missed. More here.



  • Jeremy Pound says:

    I never met Robert in person, but thoroughly enjoyed reading his pieces, and respected his expertise especially on Spanish and Latin American music, which is a particular love of mine. Was working on his review of a new CD of Falla orchestral works only this morning – desperately sad to hear this awful news.

  • NIgel SImeone says:

    This is incredibly sad news. I knew him only slightly (in his CM days) when I found him amusing and thoughtful. His subsequent work on the Independent was always a pleasure to read. He’ll be much missed.

  • It was Robert who first took a piece from me for The Independent (in, perhaps, 1990) and I wrote for its arts page for the next decade and a bit (until a night of the long knives when a lot of the freelancers were culled). He was always refreshingly open to unusual ideas and stories — from Estonia, Norway, wherever: if it made interesting copy and enlivened the page, it didn’t matter where the story was from. At one point I told him I was going to be in Prague and did he want anyone there interviewed. Yes, he said, Petr Eben is coming to teach at the Royal Northern College; go and talk to him. So I did, and Petr talked for an hour; I almost managed to interrupt on several occasions. What emerged was a seamless monologue that utterly resisted trimming to the 900 words that Robert wanted and so I phoned him up and warned him that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver. Nonsense, he said, of course it can be cut; fax it through. So I did, all 30-plus pages of the transcript. A little later Robert called back, laughing, and said: “I see what you mean!”. That’s how I’ll remember him: open and relaxed. He was a lovely chap, and the world’s a poorer place without him.

  • Sandra Parr says:

    A true gentleman….sadly missed.