Overture and Beginners, Please: An Autobiography in Five Movements
Chair Sue MacGregor
International concert pianist, Anthya Cohen, recalls the colourful family background of her childhood in pre-war South Africa — from her grandparents’ struggles as new immigrants in Kimberley, to her musically-gifted adolescence in colonial Durban, and onward. She married her husband, violinist Raymond Cohen, who later became leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in bomb-damaged London. Together, they gave outstanding performances all over the world.
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Anthya Cohen is a pianist and artist. She left South Africa to study in post-war London, discovering a new life full of music, colour and success as a concert pianist. In London she also met her husband, Raymond Cohen, who became leader of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and with whom she travelled the world for over four decades, performing as a duo. Her artwork has been used on CD covers and music magazines.
Sue MacGregor was born in Oxford and brought up in South Africa. She joined the BBC first as a producer, then as one of the first women reporters on Radio 4's The World at One. She presented Woman's Hour for 15 years, after which she co-hosted the Today programme and then went on to front A Good Read. She is currently heard presenting the award-winning programme The Reunion. She received a CBE for services to broadcasting in 2002.