Monday 11 November 2013

Sir Humphrey Maud

Former diplomat and RCM Council member, Sir Humphrey Maud, died on 10 November 2013 after suffering a major stroke.

Humphrey Maud was the son of the pianist Jean Hamilton and Baron Redcliffe-Maud, who was a diplomat and a former RCM Chairman. In 1944 his parents got to know Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, and a year later the composer dedicated The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra to Humphrey and his three sisters. We will all be thinking of him when the RCM Philharmonic performs the well known variations on 12 & 13 December.

He went to Eton, where he played the cello in the National Youth Orchestra for four years. He read classics and history at Cambridge, and after a year teaching classics at the University of Minnesota, he entered the Foreign Service in 1959, working in Madrid, Havana and Paris. He later took a sabbatical to study economics at Nuffield College Oxford.

He was Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1982 to 1985 and later Ambassador to Argentina from 1990 to 1993. In 1993 he became Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General with responsibility for economic and social affairs, holding the post until his retirement in 1999.

Throughout his diplomatic career, Sir Humphrey Maud remained an active amateur cellist, describing it as an ‘essential’ part of his life. He had the privilege of entertaining and performing chamber music with many high-profile and amateur musicians, and through music reached areas of society normally closed to Ambassadors.

He served on the RCM Council from 1993 – 2002 and was also a Trustee of the Prince Consort Foundation from 2002 – 2007. In addition, he was a Director of the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, a Trustee of the Parkhouse Chamber Music Award, a member of the Queen’s Medal for Music and also Chairman of Trustees for Musequality. He was also Chairman of the Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency.

He was awarded the FRCM in 2002.

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