Robert Paterson (impresario)
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Robert Paterson (impresario)

Robert Paterson (impresario) British impresario

British impresario
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro British impresario
Countries United Kingdom
Occupations Impresario
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 10 March 1940
Death 12 May 1991
The details

Robert Paterson (March 10, 1940 – May 12, 1991), concert promoter and impresario, born in Torquay, Devon. His father, Kenneth Paterson, Colonel with the Gurkha regiment. Member of family haulage firm Carter Paterson, sold to The Big Four railway companies, 1934.
Aged six, Robert and his mother move from Devon to more temperate climes of Cape Town, South Africa, because of Robert's severe asthma. Educated at Bishop's Diocesan College, Paterson discovers classical music thanks to his mother giving him album of classical pianist, Julius Katchen (1926–1969).
Meets Katchen at Cape Town Concert Club, 1955.
Moving back to England in 1956 for A Levels at Priory Park School in Bath, Paterson also plays Hamlet. Offered a place at Clare College, Cambridge to study medicine, opts instead for the Bristol Old Vic to learn direction and lighting. Plays the Cypriot cook in the world premiere of Arnold Wesker's play' The Kitchen'.
Paterson leaves Bristol for London as Assistant Stage Manager at the Arts Theatre, also lighting man at the Pigalle, before answering ad in The Stage to become assistant to impresario Harold Fielding.
By 1963, Paterson is employed by Victor Hochhauser, touring the Red Army Choir and Bolshoi Ballet around the UK before a brief spell with United Music Publishers.
1965-1969: Paterson's first concert as an independent promoter "Stravinsky conducts Stravinsky" with composer, Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) conducting The New Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, 1965.
Paterson becomes European representative of Igor Stravinsky in Europe.
André Previn follows as a client as well as RP's old friend Julius Katchen, Cziffra, Leonard Pennario, Peter Schreier, Theo Adam, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Becaud, Petula Clark, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Juliette Greco, Rolf Harris, Mahalia Jackson, BB King, Gordon Lightfoot, Jacques Loussier, Enrico Macias, Demis Roussos, Sacha Distel, Nana Mouskouri, Los Paraguayos, Manitas de Plata, Leontyne Price, Ivan Rebroff, Roy Orbison, The Swingle Singers.
Robert Paterson married Sybille Stock on 16 March 1968.
1970: Concert acts appearing under the banner "Robert Paterson presents" include: Peter, Paul and Mary, Ike and Tina Turner, Leonard Cohen, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Memphis Slim, Dionne Warwick, Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth, Santana, Flock, Taj Mahal, Johnny Winter. Organizes UK and European Tours in association with local promoters for Shirley Bassey, Judy Collins, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Marlene Dietrich. Bing Crosby (also on Broadway), Andy Williams, Michel Legrand and Hank Mancini.
1971: Igor Stravinsky dies on April 7, Robert and Sybille go to the funeral at San Michele, Venice where Stravinsky is buried close to Diaghilev. Family and close friends pay their respect to the great man.
November 1973 sees the Newport Jazz Festival in London, a co-production with RP and George Wein, the legendary Newport Jazz and Folk Festival promoter. 3 nights at the New Victoria Theatre. Traditional jazz with Kid Thomas and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band followed by the Ornette Coleman Quartet. Next night the Miles Davis Septet and the closing night The Giants of Jazz featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Art Blakey, Kai Winding and Al McKibbon.
The same year RP promotes at the Wembley Arena six sold out dates with David Cassidy. Wembley Arena is also the venue for two dates with Olga Korbut and USSR gymnasts.
1974: RP presents Herb Alpert & his Tijuana Brass Orchestra, Paul Simon and Fats Domino on tour.
RP teams up with Jarvis Astaire and Viewsport Ltd. to present boxing matches from the US in cinemas in the UK, Muhammad Ali/Joe Frazier fight from Madison Square Garden.
1975: RP presents Mercer Ellington, Danny La Rue, Demis Roussos and Juliette Greco. Also Don McLean in Hyde Park
Robert Paterson formed a new concert company with David Frost in Australia. The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart and Marlene Dietrich are amongst the acts he brings to Australia.
However, not having much control how the company is run by a local promoter and RP busy with concert promotions in England, the company fails. Paterson, guarantor for company loans, is forced to sell everything he owns, including his large house in Notting Hill Gate.
Plagued by ill health he ceases to be a major player on the concert scene, his only pleasures visits to Lords and the Garrick Club (Paterson's MCC and Garrick Club memberships proposed and seconded by his great friends playwright Sir Terence Rattigan and theatre Harold French) and continued financial and emotional support by his ex-wife and friend Sybille as well as help from close friends right up to his death on May 12, 1991, aged 51.

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