A doyen of British music has died

A doyen of British music has died


norman lebrecht

October 25, 2017

We have been informed of the death at his home today of Sir John Manduell, programme director of the Cheltenham Music Festival for 25 years and later principal of the Royal Northern College of Music.

Sir John, who was 89, also served on the Arts Council, the British Council, European Music Year and other bodies.

He founded the music programme at BBC Radio 3 and the department of music at Lancaster University. Aside from these duties, he was an active composer.


UPDATE: A lament for the principal who ignored me



  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    As a Lancaster and RNCM alumnus, I’m sorry to see another one of my bosses disappear. This is turning into a regrettable habit. Speaking of that, sitting opposite Sir John in the 1980’s, I did wonder how long he’d last, chain-smoking his high-octane Gitanes, so congratulations to the great man for making it to 89. Ronan O’Hora observed that his cigarettes weren’t so much alight, but bubbling with molten tar. The RNCM was a fine institution on his watch, with exceptional string and piano teachers and a vocal and opera department second to none. Halcyon days.