The children I am working with are responding to positively. They are very keen to learn new music and don’t not feel threatened to play. They enjoy the ‘have a go’ and ‘just play’ strategy.
It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Musical Futures’ dear patron Lord Claus Moser, aged 92.
Former government statistician and chairman of the Royal Opera House, Lord Moser was a pivotal figure in the creation and ongoing support and development of Musical Futures. A lifelong friend of Paul Hamlyn through their time growing up in Berlin together, Claus actioned Paul Hamlyn’s vision to establish a programme of music education that would be fully inclusive and accessible to all young people that was funded and managed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
As Chair of the Musical Futures steering committee during the pathfinder years, Claus provided challenge, insight, leadership, direction and above all a sense of humour to the unfolding of the early Musical Futures. Claus continued to be supportive of the rollout of Musical Futures, taking a keen interest in how the work was spreading rapidly both within the UK and overseas. He was a great supporter of Musical Futures becoming an independent organisation in early 2015, and offered strong words of advice around ensuring we keep the creative and innovative heart and soul of Musical Futures alive, despite the challenging financial and political climate we now are navigating ourselves through.
Abigail D’Amore, Musical Futures Chief Executive, recalls a visit he made to Hertfordshire schools in the early days of Musical Futures to see students learning classical music via self-directed, aural learning methods:
“Claus was delighted to see practice rooms filled with lively Year 9 students actively engaged in learning a range of pieces of classical music, on a variety of instruments, and being able to talk about it with passion and energy. At one point he disappeared, and I had a moment of panic that I had lost our high profile guest. After a frantic search of practice rooms and corridors, a student called us to the nearby assembly hall, where Claus was effortlessly and beautifully playing a Mozart Piano Concerto from memory to a group of enthralled students. It stopped the lesson in its tracks, but those students were so inspired by what they saw and heard, and most importantly could relate it to the work they had been doing in the classroom. We now really have lost Claus, but as one of the hundreds of thousands of people his work and personality touched, memories of him will never be far from our thoughts.’
Our thoughts are with his wife, son and two daughters.