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In My Own Time
Title Details

630 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

268 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press

In My Own Time

An Autobiography

by Humphrey Burton

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  • Contents
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  • Reviews
This long-awaited autobiography is a must-read for classical musical enthusiasts and those fascinated by some of the twentieth century's star performers. It also offers unique insights into the history of music, the BBC and arts broadcasting in twentieth-century Britain.
Sir Humphrey Burton is one of Britain's most influential post-war music and arts broadcasters. Witty, humorous and full of humanity, Burton's account presents us with never before recorded perspectives on the world of British cultural broadcasting and classical music. Burton worked with such outstanding directing talents as Ken Russell and John Schlesinger, before becoming the BBC's Head of Music and the Arts. Already in the 1960s, in conversations with Glenn Gould for instance, Burton helped to create innovative ways of presenting music to new audiences. Following Sir David Frost's call to LWT/ITV, Burton rose to prominence with presenting the award-winning arts series Aquarius (1970-1975). The early 1970s saw the beginning of Burton's long association with Leonard Bernstein. Burton was at hand filming the maestro's educational programs, as well as concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic. Unforgettable are his chronicles of Bernstein's last years, culminating in a worldwide broadcast of the conductor's Berlin Freedom Concert after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Burton's gift for communicating music turned him into a celebrated Bernstein biographer. With multi award-winning television programmes to his name, such as the BBC's Young Musician of the Year, Burton left an indelible mark on Britain's music and arts broadcasting history. Sir Humphrey Burton offers us many encounters with twentieth century classical music's superstars and former broadcasting colleagues. What transpires is a creative mind at work that never lost sight of the demand that the appropriate presentation of music can only go hand-in-hand with a deep understanding of music itself. This long-awaited autobiography is a must-read for classical musical enthusiasts and those fascinated by some of the twentieth century's star performers. It also offers unique insights into the history of music, the BBC and arts broadcasting in twentieth-century Britain.
Preface
Childhood
A Progressive Education
Boyhood Turns Sour
National Service
Cambridge
L'Année Française
The BBC's New Recruit
Lime Grove: The Promised Land
Moving Up the Ladder
New Programmes and Foreign Fields
Head of Music and Arts (HMAP Tel)
Wooing the Giants
LWT: Not Such a Brave New World
The Age of Aquarius, 1970-1975
1970: Bernstein's Annus mirabilis
In Make-Up or Munich
Discovering My Métier
Hooray for Hollywood
On the Musical Merry-go-round
Hitting My Stride
Bernstein's Endgame, 1989-1990
A Writer in New York, 1990-1994
Return to Europe
End of the Century: More Bangs than Whimpers
'The Virgin Maestro': Conducting Verdi's Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall
A Life on the Ocean Wave
Index

SIR HUMPHREY BURTON, CBE was Head of Music and Arts, BBC Television and produced seminal series for LWT. He was the Artistic Adviser to the Barbican Centre, London, and Guest Director at the Hollywood Bowl. He is the author of Leonard Bernstein (1994/2017), Yehudi Menuhin (2000) and William Walton (2002). Since the 1990s he has been a freelance broadcaster. Humphrey Burton lives in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. He was knighted in 2020 for his life-long services to classical music, the arts and the media.

"Burton can certainly tell a story, and in his memoir, In My Own Time, we see a portrait not just of a changing arts scene but of a man who, behind the smooth wheeler dealership needed for a career in TV management, has a few insecurities and one or two secrets. . . . The memoir is littered with anecdotes about the great and the good whom he met in his everyday life. . . . His friendships and connections are various, with Leonard Bernstein a consistent presence. "I was Boswell to his Johnson," he [says]." Ben Lawrence, THE TELEGRAPH
"[In My Own Time] is a fantastic read. . . . Everything is in this, every chapter of [Burton's] life -- and it is a very eventful life. At a time when there was a lot of output to arts programmes. . . [Burton's programmes] gave the viewer the respect to sit and watch something play out." Jo Good, BBC RADIO LONDON
"Anyone who was anyone in the arts world in the twentieth century doesn't begin to describe the life of Sir Humphrey Burton. In My Own Time [is] a chronicle of music making and the people who made a difference in the late twentieth century. What an extraordinary recall he has. What a magnum opus it is!" Sean Rafferty, BBC RADIO 3 - IN TUNE
"[In My Own Time] tells the story of [Burton's] rise from humble beginnings to becoming one of the industry's most admired broadcasters, bringing the joy of classical music to the general public through collaborations with stars such as Leonard Bernstein and Yehudi Menuhin." Dalya Alberge, THE GUARDIAN
"In his new book, Burton offers readers many encounters with the superstars of twentieth-century classical music, as well as tales from former broadcasting colleagues. We witness a creative mind at work that never loses sight of how the presentation of music must go hand-in-hand with a deep understanding of music itself." PRELUDE, FUGUE & RIFFS, Newsletter of the Leonard Bernstein Office

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Title Details

630 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

268 b/w. Illustrations

Imprint: Boydell Press