Peter Diamand

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Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jan Blokker & Peter Diamand in 1987

Peter Diamand, CBE (8 June 1913 – 16 January 1998) was an arts administrator and director of the Edinburgh Festival from 1965 to 1978.[1]

Diamand was born in Berlin on 8 June 1913, and educated there, but held Austrian nationality.[1] In the early 1930s, being Jewish,[2] he fled to Amsterdam to escape Nazism.[1] While there, he worked as secretary to pianist Artur Schnabel.[1]

Diamand spent some time in a Dutch concentration camp before escaping. He and his mother needed to hide from the Nazis, in attics and other cramped places, with inadequate food.[3] Schnabel's last student, pianist Maria Curcio, looked after them, at great risk and high cost to her own health and career.[2] In 1947, they married.[1] They divorced in 1971. He subsequently married American violinist, Sylvia Rosenberg.

He appeared as a "castaway" on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 15 August 1966,[4] and was made an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972.[1]

Diamand died on 16 January 1998, in Amsterdam.[1]