The English violinist and conductor John Georgiadis has died in Walmer in the Southeast of England at the age of 81. In addition to many other artistic activities he held the position of leader of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) from 1965 to 1973 and again from 1977 to 1979. It was during this second period that he completed his training as a conductor with Sergiu Celibidache.
It was on 26 May 1975 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall that John Georgiadis was first introduced to the British public as a conductor of Viennese dance music, in a programme entitled “Strauss in the Ballroom”. The occasion was celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of Johann Strauss II. On New Year’s Day 1977 he conducted the LSO with violin and bow in hand in the first of his Viennese concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Many more such concerts followed in the course of the next twenty-five years, some of them at other well-known venues in London and also abroad, for example in Spain and the USA.
In close co-operation with The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain (JSSGB) John Georgiadis and the London Symphony Orchestra recorded musical rarities by the Strauss dynasty and their contemporaries. These were released on commercial LPs and CDs, beginning in 1989 with Johann Strauss and Family in London (Chandos LP LBRD 022, MC LBTD 022, CD CHAN 8379), sponsored by the JSSGB with the generous support of Sir James Cayzer, Bart. to mark their twenty-fifth anniversary. John Georgiadis’s latest CDs feature the music of Eduard Strauss I and that of his contemporaries. All in all he made an invaluable contribution to the reception of the music of the Strauss dynasty in recent decades.
At the ‘Tanz-Signale’ (Dance Signals) Strauss Symposium in 2018 he presented a paper entitled ‘Comparing Instrumentation and Orchestration of the Strauss Family and Contemporaries’. John Georgiadis will retain a place of honour in our memory.
English translation: Leigh Bailey