Obituary: Allen Percival

Martin Williams
Thursday 08 October 1992 23:02

IAN HORSBRUGH's sensitive obituary of Allen Percival (24 September) could not encompass the whole of a wide-ranging life devoted to music, writes Martin Williams. Percival's concern for the less fortunate members of his profession found practical expression in his work for the Musicians Benevolent Fund.

First appointed to its Executive in 1972, Percival's contribution to its work was always practical, to the point and sympathetic. On his return from Hong Kong in 1987, he was elected deputy Chairman, and until his death led its education and Festival committees.

He was a joy to work with. The most complicated drafts would be returned within hours meticulously corrected in his neat hand: a complex discussion of policy produced a careful summary condensing points made less eloquently and at greater length by his fellow members. In addition, there were the quiet and authoritative (never authoritarian) contributions in committee.

One of his final acts was to prepare a paper on the future of the MBF's educational work which, if adopted, will be the blueprint for its activity in this field during the next 10 years. There could be no better memorial to his concern for his fellow musicians at the beginning of their careers and at the end.

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