John Amis died last night in hospital, aged 91.
He was one of the last people you could talk to about music just before and after the Second World War. A jack of many trades – administrator, critic, broadcaster, quiz panellist – John worked for Thomas Beecham for a while, then for William Glock at Dartington and around Benjamin Britten at Aldeburgh. His jobs never ended well.
He sang a bit and appeared on stage. His greatest skill was as a conversationalist, entertainer and educationalist. He would pop up on all sorts of radio game shows. He was always game for a laugh.
In style and deportment, he cultivated the bygone manner of a gentleman of leisure. It’s sad to see him go.