Farewell to Peter Back

PeterBackNov14 Peter Back has been writing the programme notes for the Brighton Phil for nearly 20 years and many of you will also know him from his entertaining pre-concert interviews with our guest artists, and the previews he writes for the local press before each of our concerts.

Sadly after much soul-searching Peter has decided that it is now time for him to “hang up his pen”, so to speak, at the end of this current season. In doing so he says:

“Researching and writing about so much music has enhanced my own appreciation and enjoyment and. hopefully, that of our audiences. It has also been a privilege to have played a part in the work of the Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society.

Above all it is the involvement with both musicians and audience members alike that has given me the most pleasure, with many wonderful memories and some lasting friendships. I have enjoyed feeling part of a team and am grateful to everyone, Barry Wordsworth and John Bradbury in particular, for their interest and encouragement.”

Many of you will recall that Peter’s association with the orchestra dates back to extended illustrated talks given first at the Connaught Adult Education Centre, and then at All Saints Church Parish Room, where the end of each term was often celebrated with a much anticipated tea-party. The Unitarian Church in New Road became the next venue, followed by the Founders Room at Brighton Dome, where noise percolating from the café bar was a distraction, so in recent years Peter has appeared on stage in the Concert Hall, with occasional excursions into Brighton Museum’s Education Room (to avoid clashing with piano and harp tuning). His research has taken him inside libraries in Brighton, London and Cambridge University, and he fondly recalls de-camping to Hove Town Hall for the 75th Birthday Weekend concerts, as well as special pre-season previews at the Sallis Benney Theatre and the Dome’s Studio Theatre.

In Peter’s own words: “It has been, as they often say on television reality shows, quite a journey – but a most pleasurable one. I certainly hope to continue attending the concerts and helping in any way I can to promote the work of this uniquely wonderful orchestra.”

There will be a presentation to Peter at the Sponsors’ Reception immediately following the final concert of the season on Sunday 26 March, which will be attended by the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth and musicians from the orchestra. If you would like to contribute to a collection please contact Catherine Stead in the BPO Office.


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