Gerald Haigh invokes Alberto Semprini in his reflections on some of the BETT Awards finalists
Remember Semprini? Probably not. He was a radio star of the Fifties and Sixties, a charming and highly popular pianist who hosted a light music programme called Semprini Serenade. Here he is playing the amateur pianist’s Everest, Sinding’s ‘Rustle of Spring’ (‘Bet tha can’t play t’ Rustle o’ Spring, Gerald,’ they used to say to me.)
Why did I think of him when I read down the list of BETT 2014 Award winners and runners-up? Because Semprini always introduced his show with the same words: "Old ones, new ones, loved ones, neglected ones." I guess there can be no finer tribute to the BETT Awards process than the way their choices so beautifully fit that description.