Gerard Hoffnung was born in Berlin in 1925 and went to London in 1939 as a schoolboy refugee. Although he died at the early age of 34 years, he achieved in his short life enough to fill a whole series of lifetimes. Artist, teacher, cartoonist, caricaturist, musician and tuba player, broadcaster and raconteur, a much sought after speaker at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions and prison visitor, a Quaker - these were all facets of a creative personality.
Hoffnung published a series of books depicting conductors and orchestral instrumentalists. However, he is probably most remembered for his two Music Festivals held at the Festival Hall in London. Both these featured humerous musical works commissioned especially for the event and written by the then contemporary composers of the day.