Paul Strang obituary


Paul Strang, who has died of most cancers aged 91, labored as a solicitor in London for greater than 50 years, however he was additionally the facilitator and guiding gentle of numerous worthy musical causes. With him as chair, The Songmakers’ Almanac, my ensemble, offered 20 seasons of track recitals at Wigmore Corridor in London from the Seventies onwards; he guided the creation of a viable rehearsal area for orchestras at Henry Wooden Corridor; and Trinity School of Music relocated to Greenwich in 2002 as Trinity Laban Conservatoire. He additionally chaired of the Tillett Belief, which helps gifted younger musicians, and wore scores of different musical hats over time.

Paul was born in London, the son of the soprano Dora Labbette, a divorcee, and the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who was then nonetheless married to his first spouse, Utica. When the second world struggle broke out Beecham left for brand new horizons within the US. Following the couple’s acrimonious break-up, the six-year-old Paul acquired the surname of Dora’s former husband.

Beecham paid the charges for Paul to go to Harrow college (and little else) and met the boy annually in London on the Savoy resort to debate his college report. In 1951, as an impecunious younger man articled to Underwoods solicitors in Welbeck Avenue, Paul lodged along with his mom’s pal, Emmie Tillett, director of Ibbs & Tillett, Britain’s foremost live performance company. He quickly grew to become near an array of celebrated musicians, together with Kathleen Ferrier, and ultimately grew to become chair of the singing competitors established in her reminiscence. Paul inherited his father’s ear for wonderful singing – his musical judgments have been unerringly perspicacious.

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Paul Strang serving to harvest grapes. He wrote 4 books on wine, together with Wines of South-West France, 1994. {Photograph}: Jason Shenai

In 1965 Paul married Jeanne Heslop, who had labored at Decca Information and was a warmly radiant presence. Numerous musicians will keep in mind great evenings of their dwelling in St John’s Wooden, with wonderful meals and wine. Jeanne wrote a cookbook, Goosefat and Garlic (1991), in regards to the meals of south-west France. Paul, an early supporter of the Wine Society, wrote 4 substantial books on the wines and winemakers of the identical area, together with Wines of South-West France (1994) and Languedoc-Roussillon: the Wines and Winemakers (2002).

Jeanne died in 2023 at their summer season dwelling within the Aveyron. Paul survived her by solely six months, having ignored the signs of his personal sickness with the intention to keep by her aspect.

He’s survived by Jeanne’s niece, Caroline, and nephew, Christopher.


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