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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: January 2014

Sir William Glock

from Music Administrators


William Glock was one of the doers, the accomplishers. Also, one of those who sought to improve the world he had inherited, to make it better for others: in his case, for composers and their public. During his years with the BBC, between 1959 and 1972, he succeeded in bringing about enduring changes in British musical life, opening its doors and windows for the music of the twentieth century. The dimensions of his achievement are indicated by the fact that those years have come to be known as the Glock Era.

We met in 1976, after William had retired from the BBC. I was aware of his stature in British musical life and was suitably impressed when he offered to come to my dingy little hotel for our interview. For him, it appeared to be the most natural thing in the world. It was a rainy day in London, but he turned up on time, even slightly early, for, as he explained, he needed to change before going to the opening of the National Theater.

William Glock was one of the most unassuming and most lovable of the great men I have had occasion to meet. He inspired respect and, as the years went by, sympathy.

Perhaps it was in the year of our interview, perhaps somewhat later, that he introduced me to his second wife, the lovely and charming Anne, whose beautiful head was crowned by abundant white hair.