It is with great sadness that we share the news that Jeremy Montagu, former curator of the Bate Collection, died last week.
For those unfamiliar with Jeremy’s distinguished career, he was curator of the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments and lecturer in the Faculty from 1981 to 1995. He played percussion with most of the major London orchestras (including the Royal Philharmonic with Beecham). Jeremy was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and President of the Galpin Society. He amassed a significant instrument collection, and lectured and taught in the UK and US, as well as serving as an advisor on musical instruments to museums and arts bodies.
Jeremy’s time as Bate curator was characterised by his commitment to forging connections between student and professional musicians, and to widening access to music: it was under his curatorship that the Gamelan orchestra, which has played such a significant role in Bate outreach work, was acquired for the University. Jeremy died comfortably in his sleep, surrounded by family.
In celebration of his life and contribution to the Bate and the Faculty, it is intended to hold a memorial concert for him at some point next year. Details are yet to be finalised, but do be in touch with Andy Lamb if you would like to be involved.