After St John’s College, Cambridge, I was supposed to be a historian, then a librarian, but music has been at the centre of my life. In the 1980s I was an underling in the old BBC Music Division. For twenty years after that I managed the Specialist Licensing Operations unit of the MCPS, the UK collecting society now subsumed within PRS for Music and various multinational quangos.
Outside the day job, thankfully relinquished, my activities include hundreds of contributions to Gramophone and the late-lamented International Record Review. I have provided some sort of text for virtually every BBC Proms concert programme since 1996 and, more sporadically, notes for CBSO and LSO promotions, booklet notes for CDs, synopses, critiques of live music-making (chiefly for The Stage and The Classical Source) and book reviews (notably for a past incarnation of The Independent).
Given that my own book projects range from studies of pop icons to a life of Prokofiev, the listening pile is eclectic. I have conducted interviews with such luminaries as Paul McCartney, Daniel Barenboim, Marin Alsop and, more recently, the redoubtable Wasfi Kani. I am a member of the Critics’ Circle.