Obituary: Sandy Broughton

Alexandra Broughton, arts publicist: born London 5 February 1950; died New York 20 June 1993.

SANDY BROUGHTON introduced a much-needed touch of professionalism to the ICA as its new Press Officer in 1978, writes Adrian Jack.

At that time I had just started as guest director of the MusICA series of concerts. Unlike many in the business, Sandy seemed totally unthreatening; she was also untypical in being quietly spoken, extremely hard- working and, as I was to learn gradually, loyal and almost austerely principled. She told me that music was her blind or, rather, deaf spot; which might have been a ploy to win my trust but was actually true. Of course, that made me like her even better, and since we both believed in plain English, without jargon or hyperbole, she never interfered with my copy. She only complained, quite justifiably, about the dowdy photographs musicians sent in. Their sense of style has developed a bit since then.

On just one occasion she ventured a protest: one of my musicians was practising at the piano in the bar and how could I possibly hire someone who sounded so untrained? As it turned out, he became a cult and 11 years later, in the last conversation I had with Sandy on the line from New York, she proudly told me she had just been to one of his concerts there. She continued to identify with the work we had promoted, and when the Almeida Festival put on Gerald Barry's opera The Intelligence Park, which I had originally commissioned for the ICA, she was at the first night.

At the ICA Sandy had to publicise every art-form in its most challenging aspects. Her own real passion was theatre, although she also ran the children's cinema programme. She put her trust in the departmental directors if she respected them (and she had a great capacity for respect) and was discreet if she did not. But she came to seem like part of the institute itself, not only because she apparently spent most of her waking hours there, but also because she developed close professional friendships with the director at the time, Bill McAlister, and the first General Manager of his regime, Luke Randolph.

Sandy remained at the ICA for eight years, and such was the degree to which she identified with the place that I could hardly believe it when she told me she was leaving. In her subsequent career she continued to ring me for advice and refer people to me as if I knew the answer to every musical question. Her sense of commitment in professional life was matched by her care and concern in private and, being unselfcentred, she wanted friends of hers to be friends of each other. We shall all miss her soft and kindly influence.

(Photograph omitted)

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor