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Face the Music host Cooper dies at 88.

Pianist and broadcaster Joseph Cooper has died in hospital aged 88.

Cooper, who was well-known for BBC2's Face the Music, died at the Nuffield Hospital in Guildford, Surrey, after a short illness.

Cooper was born at Westbury on Trym, Bristol, where he spent his early years watching his gifted pianist mother play. He got a music scholarship to Clifton College then an organ scholarship at Keble College Oxford in 1931.

After university he took a post as church organist in Blackheath and gave piano lessons in his spare time.

He eventually got a job writing music for documentaries made by the GPO Film Unit where his colleagues were poet WH Auden and Benjamin Britten.

It wasn't until 1946 that his career proper began again, with recitals, foreign tours and extra lessons from Claudio Arrau. His recordings became best-sellers in the music world.

Work for radio brought him into contact with producer Walter Todds, who invited him in 1954 to take part in his newly devised radio show Call the Tune.

In 1966 Todds successfully transferred the idea to television as the BBC2's Face the Music, giving Cooper the ideal vehicle to bring the classical music to a wider public.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 6, 2001
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