Why the topic?
some only moderately relevant autobiography
In the 1960s, as a North London schoolboy, I joined an organisation called 'Youth and Music', founded by Sir Robert Meyer, which encouraged children to go to concerts and the opera. Later on I got to know Sir Robert, who was then in his late eighties, and had, in his childhood, been patted on the head by Brahms at a school prize-day.
During the tedious bits of a symphony or whatever, it was not unnatural for a lad to flick through the concert programme to see if there was anything interesting to pass the time. (An alternative in the Royal Festival Hall or Albert Hall was to try to count the pipes of the organ, but this soon palled). Here, amongst the lists of patrons, I noticed (as a Jew myself) a surprising over-representation of Jewish names. And of course Sir Robert was Jewish. And so it appeared were a great number of the soloists and conductors I heard - Oistrakh, Stern, Menuhin, Serkin, Barenboim, Klemperer ........
As I was taught that there was always a reason for everything, there had to be a reason for this. Now, thirty-five years later, I am getting round to addressing it.