As a sick child recovering from major heart surgery, I entertained myself by listening to my parents’ record collection, which included recordings of Willi Boskowsky, and of Margaret Ritchie singing Schubert and Haydn songs. Thus I was introduced early to the world of Vienna and her music – which I have loved ever since.
A little later, aged 9, I started to learn French, and then at 12 I began German, and in the sixth form learned to love the literature of both these countries. Vol de Nuit (Saint-Exupéry) with its involvement with aircraft, and Andorra (Max Frisch) - about wartime antisemitism and being the odd-one-out - have an obvious appeal. Having always loved forests, I identified early with Adalbert Stifter’s rather foolish character with a taste for wild strawberries in Der Waldsteig – who gets lost in the forest and meets a chaste maiden.
In the course of directing tours to major festivals in cities such as Vienna, Eisenstadt, Leipzig and Dresden, I arranged private visits where I was able to demonstrate instruments formerly played by Bach, Haydn, Liszt and Brahms. Performances of Haydn quartets solely for my party took place in successive years in the Esterhàzy Palace in Fertöd, Hungary, where the very first performances took place.
Ever since I was 13 years old and watched Kenneth Clark standing on the staircase of the Bishop’s Palace at Würzburg, I have been fired with an enthusiasm for architecture, specialising in the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. A particular fascination is the Bavarian Rococo Church.
I have been fortunate since then to travel to Würzburg, and monasteries such as Vierzehnheiligen and Banz, along with many other famous cities such as Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris and Toulouse. In 2021 I visited sites in Turin, including the Superga, as well as Milan Cathedral, and in 2022 will spend several months in Vienna.
I can offer you several years’ experience in Machine Translation Post Editing, beginning when it was a new concept. My skills here are in the realm of diesel engines, onboard diagnostics, and emissions control, as well as snow groomers and snow makers, with experience in revising catalogues for a major online wineshop. There is equal pleasure when the machine translations are almost frighteningly accurate, as well as when a sentence is such gobbledegook that the only solution is to go back to the original and start again!
Since starting my translation business with speed, availability, punctuality and subject knowledge being taken for granted, I have helped in the publication of guides in, for example, Château Azay-le-Rideau, and the Natural History Museum, Graz. I have helped musicians achieve a wider audience through translating their biographies, and worked on behalf of winemakers (such as the festival at Vevey) and on automotive subjects, particularly tracked vehicles.
So as to be of best assistance to you the client/customer, I am fully committed to developing my skills through continuing professional development. This includes not only attending many webinars for translators, as well as meetings and conferences, but also travelling to exhibitions, such as the Dürer Drawings, Caravaggio/Bernini in Vienna, the Palazzo Madama museum in Turin, “Italian Sculpture,” at the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, “Charles I” and “Da Vinci,” in London.
I continue to play many organs abroad, such as the oldest (1642) organ in Vienna, aiming to study music on the instruments for which it was originally written.
In forty years of teaching, performing and travelling I have always been willing to give something extra, to perform an additional service if I can. I can help you with culturally adapted material especially in classical music, art, architecture, cuisine and travel.