The whole choir was very sad to hear of Tony Goldstone’s death, on January 2nd. Tony and his wife and duettist partner Caroline Clemmow had become our firm friends and musical collaborators over a number of years, and our thoughts and sympathies go out to Caroline.
Anthony Goldstone was born in Liverpool in 1944. His family moved to Manchester where he attended Manchester Grammar School. He studied piano at the Royal Manchester School of Music, and continued with Maria Curcio, who had been a pupil of the legendary Artur Schnabel. Tony enjoyed early success, appearing at the Last Night of the Proms in 1976, playing an early Britten work for left hand piano and orchestra. After the concert was broadcast, the composer wrote to him, ‘Thank you most sincerely for that brilliant performance of my Diversions.’
Tony and Caroline began playing together in 1984, quickly having great success, and they married in 1989. There is a surprisingly large repertoire of music, better known in other formats, which has been arranged for either piano duet or two pianos. Tony added extensively to this by making many of his own arrangements. Their discography includes over twenty CDs, with music by a full range of composers from Mozart to the present day. Last December they issued a disc of Vaughan Williams arrangements, including his Symphony No. 5 and the Tallis Fantasia, that is especially recommended (Albion Records ALBCD031).
Tony and Caroline lived near Scunthorpe, and it was through Neville Ward’s work with Scunthorpe Choral Society that they came to the notice of the Bingham Choir. In 2006 they played with us in a concert of music by John Rutter, Bob Chilcott and George Gershwin, with Neville conducting. We repeated that programme in autumn 2015, when it became the first concert that Guy Turner conducted on becoming our Musical Director in succession to Neville. It was a great success and the joy given to the audience by some additional duets that Caroline and Tony played was duly noted. We therefore invited them to give us a complete concert of duets.
That concert took place last September, before a packed audience in Bingham Church. One of the highlights of a spellbinding evening was the second half wholly devoted to Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the animals, with the poems of John Lithgow narrated by Guy Turner. Sadly, that wonderful concert was to be one of Tony Goldstone’s last public performances.