In her early fifties, Moira Bennett was widowed with a school-age son and in need of a job. With virtually no previous working experience but full of energy and determination, she found herself working at the Britten-Pears School at Snape, helping to run masterclasses for young professional musicians studying with artists such as Peter Pears, Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich, Hugues Cuenod and William Pleeth. Her gift for arts administration - understanding the needs of performers and audiences - was soon to become highly valued at Aldeburgh, as she became the Registrar at the Britten-Pears School and went on to create the post of Development Director in the early days of commercial sponsorship of the arts. She was later invited to take on a similar role at the Barbican Centre, supporting a series of international arts festivals, before going on to work with the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 the Bittern Press published Moira Bennett's history of the Britten-Pears School, Making Musicians, which Classical Music magazine made one its Books of the Year. Now in her early nineties, Moira Bennett has written an extraordinary autobiography, casting an astute eye over her childhood and adolescence in South Africa, the impact of the Second World War and the Apartheid years on the country, and her second, 'unexpected', life in the arts.
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