We are sorry to announce the very sad news that Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s Music Adviser, Lyndon Jenkins, passed away earlier this week.
Lyndon joined Symphony Hall as Special Projects Manager in 1992 and following his retirement in 2004, remained part of the team as Music Adviser. He played a key role in programming the Birmingham International Concert Season, was responsible for originating a number of specially themed festivals, interviewed many visiting artists and presented the ECHO Rising Stars series since its inception in the early 90s.
For many of our classical music audiences, Lyndon was without doubt the public face of both Symphony Hall and Town Hall, as well as being known by the artists who have appeared here. He helped devise many concerts and projects which have contributed significantly to Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s reputation among the great concert halls of the world.
Lyndon was a highly respected journalist, author, lecturer and broadcaster on music. Locally, he wrote for the Birmingham Post from 1972-1987, was Classical Presenter at Mercia Sound (1980-89), BRMB (1986-89) and BBC Radio WM (1989-92) and later presented a weekly programme of light music on Saga Radio. He was a well-known voice on BBC Radio 3 (including presenting ‘Mainly for Pleasure’ and ‘Record Review’) and BBC World Service between 1983-99, a regular contributor to specialist music journals and writer of CD booklets for many leading record labels including EMI, Testament and Dutton.
A specialist in British music, British artists and British musical history, his many documentary programmes included Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Malcom Sargent, Dame Maggie Teyte, Eric Fenby and E J Moeran. His publications included Sir Adrian Boult’s Birmingham Years, The Birmingham 78s, The Recorded Works of William Walton, The Music of Arthur Bliss on Record, While Spring and Summer Sang: Thomas Beecham and the Music of Frederick Delius and Town Hall Birmingham: A History in Pictures.
Among his many interests was a particular love of Scandinavian music and he broadcast regularly on Finnish and Danish radio about Sibelius and Nielsen. His promotion of Danish music led to him being awarded a knighthood from HM The Queen of Denmark for services to Anglo-Danish cultural relations. He gave the first Adrian Boult lecture in Birmingham in 1986, was Chairman of the Delius Society from 1994-2000, latterly Vice-President, and President of the Federation of Recorded Music Societies.
Lyndon moved to Birmingham from his native Swansea in the early 1960s to take up a position as personal assistant to Sir Robert Booth, then Director of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Working alongside Sir Robert, Lyndon was at the centre of discussions regarding the proposed National Exhibition Centre development, ultimately taking on the role of Press Officer after it opened in 1976.
He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.
Andrew Jowett OBE
Chief Executive, Town Hall and Symphony Hall