On Ronald Stevenson's eightieth birthday,
PATRIC STANDFORD reads Colin Scott-Sutherland's
'Ronald Stevenson: The Man and his Music'
I cannot help describing Ronald Stevenson as a monumental musical personality. I met him once almost thirty years ago for little more than a recital interval, and the impression still remains. He is without doubt among the greatest British pianists of our time and, as Lord Menuhin writes in his succinct foreword to this superb symposium -- 'one of the most original minds in the world of the composition of music'.
He is not so much 'larger than life' as the incarnation of musical life itself. His creativity seems to know no bounds; his range of interests around and beyond music itself not only an inspiration but -- as it should be -- an example to all narrow minded composers and academics, though he may well be lost on many of them. His knowledge of music is encyclopaedic and he has throughout his long life (he was born in 1928) shunned celebrity and maintained a particular interest in similarly highly gifted musicians who have done likewise.
Copyright © 6 March 2008
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK