Lowering The Tone & Raising The Roof
In this much-anticipated autobiography, Raymond Gubbay brings to life his extraordinary fifty-year career as one of the most experienced and well-connected impresarios in British music and entertainment. With a provenance rich in history and talent, he retraces the musical legacy of his family, growing up in a liberal Jewish household in 1950s post-war London with the challenges he faced while embarking on his musical journey after a few failed attempts at corporate conformity.
Beginning his career at the Royal Albert Hall, his introduction to the entertainment industry commenced under the guidance of the late Victor Hochhauser – Britain’s foremost promoter of Russian ballet and classical music.
Passionate and enigmatic, this memoir delves right into the heart of 1960s performing arts, with Gubbay absorbingly recounting both the stress and excitement that came with marshalling three coach loads of Russian performers around the country at a time of conflicting traditions, theatrical decline, amid Soviet tensions – and this was only the beginning…
Setting up on his own, he started with a handful of performers touring to modest venues around the country, building a brand and a style which seemed very much in tune with the times.
Later, working alongside some of the most prestigious classical and popular artists of our time – from Yehudi Menuhin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Luciano Pavarotti and the English National Ballet to Ray Charles, Miles Davis and Andrew Lloyd-Webber – Gubbay has witnessed and played a hand in promoting and producing some of the most iconic performances of opera, ballet and classical music ever staged in some of the largest music venues in Britain, the Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham – and not least of all the Royal Albert Hall. He was in at the start of the Barbican in the City of London and provides a keen insight into the early years there.
Lowering the Tone is rich with stories of showbusiness and the behind-the scenes business of the great musical venues, with appearances from a wealth of household and international names.
This is the story of achievement, imagination and a desire to bring happiness and entertainment to generations of music lovers.
Reviews for Lowering The Tone & Raising The Roof
Open, honest and funny, this book is a very good read indeed.
George Hall, Opera Magazine
A rollicking account of a unique working life and as such, hard to put down.
Diana Simmonds, Limelight Magazine
It affords an insider’s glimpse behind the scenes and is fascinating for anyone with an interest in music
James Jolly, Gramophone
If there’s one thing he understands, it’s how to please an audience. People love fireworks? Give them fireworks.
Richard Bratby, Spectator
Iconic impresario Raymond Gubbay shares incredible memories from his colourful career