John Hosier

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John Hosier
Born (1928-11-18)18 November 1928
Kingsbury, Middlesex, England
Died 28 March 2000(2000-03-28) (aged 71)
London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Music educator

John Hosier CBE (18 November 1928 – 28 March 2000) was a musical educator. He was born with stunted fingers so was unable to play a musical instrument himself, but nonetheless he devoted his life to music and music education. Later in life, when asked about his hands by children, he would say that he used to bite his fingernails too much.[1]

Early life[edit]

John Hosier was born in the north west London suburb of Kingsbury, Middlesex. His father was Harry Hosier, the founder of the building firm Hosier and Dickinson, and his mother was Constance, a violinist. She overcame the problem of how he could play a musical instrument in childhood by having him learn the xylophone. He attended Fryent Primary School, Kingsbury, Preston Manor County Grammar School, now Preston Manor High School, Wembley and St John's College, Cambridge where he also served as a director of Footlights from 1950-1951.


John Hosier's professional career started in 1953 when he became a music producer for BBC Radio for schools, a position he held until 1959. Then from 1960 until 1973 he worked in BBC Television for schools. He was producer of the Schools Television programme Music Time.

From 1973 until 1976 he was the Inspector for Inner London Education Authority and the Director of the Centre for Young Musicians.

From 1978 until 1989 he was the Principal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Barbican Arts Centre. Here he developed its reputation into one of the world's leading conservatorories and started courses in Jazz. In 1986 he worked with Leonard Bernstein for the Barbican Centre's Leonard Bernstein Festival. He became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1984. In 1989 he was appointed Director of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, a position he held for 5 years until 1993. He was director of the Early Music Centre in London from 1994 until his death in 2000.

He was married to Biddy Baxter, the editor of the BBC Television children's programme Blue Peter. In 2003, Baxter established the John Hosier Music Trust which offers scholarships to students from poor backgrounds.[2]


  1. ^ Turner, Janice (2008-08-30). "The Blue Peter Effect". London: The Times Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-06. 
  2. ^ Jane Martinson "Blue Peter's Biddy Baxter: 'I never wanted to do anything else'", The Guardian, 24 November 2013