We have been informed of the death, at home on Friday night, of Stephen Gray. He was 89.
Stephen co-founded the Chelsea Opera Group in 1950 with the critic David Cairns, leading a vast expansion of British opera perspectives, starting with Mozart and broadening out into Berlioz and far beyond. Their first conductor was a 22 year-old clarinet player, Colin Davis.
Stephen went on to become general manager of the Walter Legge’s Philharmonia Orchestra, then of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, making it (under Sir Charles Groves) one of the most vibrant orchestras in the land.
More significant than his achievements are those he mentored from their very first steps in the music profession. Here is a short list, for starters:
John Eliot Gardiner
Managers and administrators:
Ed Smith (Birmingham, Toronto, Gothenburg)
Brian Pidgeon ( BBC Philharmonic, now Chandos producer)
Jane Moss ( ex Philharmonia Administrator, RPO Orchestra Manager)
Andrew Burn (Bournemouth)
Russell Jones (ABO/AOL)
Nicholas Matthias (IMG Artists)
Alan Shenton (ex Virgin Records)
Andrew Bennett ( Ulster, Philharmonia, Northern Sinfonia, Oporto).
Tributes will follow. May he rest in peace.