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Antony Hopkins memorial concert is a tribute to ‘the man behind the music’

Antony Hopkins. Photo: Derek Tamea

Antony Hopkins. Photo: Derek Tamea

A memorial concert in honour of Dacorum’s late, great composer Antony Hopkins is to take place this month.

The famed musician – who was also known for creating iconic film scores and presenting the BBC radio programme Talking About Music for 36 years – was educated at Berkhamsted School after being adopted by one of its housemasters.

He lived in the town for most of his life, until his death aged 93 on May 6 of this year, and maintained an important role in the school and wider community.

The concert, taking place in the school’s Centenary Theatre on Kings Road, Berkhamsted, is a celebration of his life and work, and even features excerpts from his school reports that were meticulously preserved by his adoptive father, Major Tom Hopkins.

Members of the Bridgewater Sinfonia and Chiltern Chamber Choir will be performing, along with soloists including Edmund Wilson, the cellist and pupil at Berkhamsted School. A former recipient of the Antony Hopkins trophy at the School’s Young Musician of the Year Award, Edmund received the honour from the man himself a few years before he passed away.

Proceeds from the event will go towards the Antony Hopkins Memorial Award promoted by the Bridgewater Sinfonia, and to the Berkhamsted School Music Department.

There will also be a retiring collection for Rennie Grove Hospice Care and the Hospice of St Francis, who looked after Antony in his final weeks.

Antony’s wife of two years Beatrix said the concert is a light-hearted event intended to look back at the life of the man who became a household name in the mediums of music, theatre, radio and cinema.

She said: “It’s been a mixture of emotions looking through Antony’s various letters and cuttings because I feel sad, but I can also look back and see how much he accomplished.

“He had a real sense of humour, and he wouldn’t have wanted this concert to be formal and stuffy.

“It will be an afternoon of music interspersed with what I am calling a comedy routine – it will be unmasking the man behind the music.”

The concert takes place at 3pm on Sunday, September 14. Tickets, at £5, are already on sale through the school’s bookings website, berkhamstedbookings.co.uk, and from Aitchisons estate agents in the town’s High Street.

 

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