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Gavin Plumley


Gavin Plumley is a writer and broadcaster specializing in the music and culture of Central Europe. He read music at Keble College, Oxford and began his career in the publications and press departments at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. After working for several years as a theatrical and literary agent, Gavin decided to pursue a freelance career in 2011.

He has written features and programme notes for the world’s leading opera houses, concert halls and music festivals, including the Salzburg Festival, for which he has been commissioning editor of English-language programme notes since 2013. He has also written for The Guardian, The Times, The Independent on Sunday, High Life, Opera Now, Opera and BBC Music Magazine.

Gavin appears frequently on BBC Radio 3, both as a guest, on Music Matters, Opera on 3, Proms Extra and the Vienna New Year’s Day Concert, and as a presenter, including broadcasts from the Bayreuth and Verbier Festivals. He has also appeared on PM, Saturday Review and Start the Week on BBC Radio 4.

Gavin is increasingly well known for his work about Vienna during the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He has spoken about the period at the National Gallery, as part of its 2013 Facing the Modern exhibition, at Tate Liverpool’s 2008 Klimt retrospective and at the Neue Galerie in New York, as well as giving several talks at opera houses and concert halls. He also lectures regularly about Vienna for the Arts Society.

His recent projects include a lecture-recital at Wigmore Hall about Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite, which was broadcast live online. In 2018 Gavin will make his first appearance on stage at the National Theatre, discussing issues of fact and fiction in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, and he has recently begun a book about the Second Viennese School.

Last updated: Jul 2019