On February 2nd, the UK Czech music expert, musicologist, journalist
and music organizer Graham Melville-Mason died at the age of 85. He was the
only non-Czech member of the artistic board of the Prague Spring International
Music Festival and headed the UK’s Dvořák Society.
For Graham Melville-Mason, everything began back in the
1960s, when he taught at the university in Edinburgh and helped organise the
city’s international music festival, where he first experienced guest
performances of Czechoslovak musicians. His fascination with the Czech musical
culture continued to grow and strengthen when he was employed at the BBC in
London. Czech music finally became the main focus of his professional and
personal life following his retirement in 1989. He dedicated himself to the
works of Czech masters and key contemporary composers; he maintained numerous
friendships with Czech musicians. He studied Czech culture, he drove a Škoda
and could speak Czech.
The Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music is devoted
to the musical arts of all Czech and Slovak composers and performers, past and
present. The Dvořák Society aims to encourage performances
and promote interest in this respect. It publish articles and information about
all aspects of Czech and Slovak classical musical life and holds lectures: and
it gives direct financial and other support to worthy causes.