In my early years as a translator I used to find that listening to France-Musique (roughly the equivalent of Radio Three) was a soothing experience without distracting me from the work at hand. This was because the music and the speakers were faintly boring. One of the rare exceptions was Mildred Clary. She had a very clear and pleasing voice, with the merest hint of an English accent betraying her origins, and had the gift of bringing composers like Britten, Gershwin, Satie and Mozart gloriously to life. In those days I didn't have much work anyway so I never felt too guilty in putting everything to one side and listening to her as she regaled us with little-known details of the great composers.
As the years went by and my brain solidified, even the slightest distraction began to prove fatal and by the turn of the century I had given up listening to the radio during "working hours". It came as quite a shock, therefore, to discover only today that she had been ousted from France-Musique in 1999, in of those coups that are regular features French radio stations, and that she had died in 2010.
Here are two pictures of her:
This automatic translation by Google tells us a little more about her. I think Google makes a pretty good fist of the translation, although it has some difficulty in determining whether Mildred Clary was a man or a woman, and goes completely to pieces in the last sentence. I think she would have appreciated that!
of French-Italian mother and English father, Mildred Clary was introduced to music by his parents, and especially the lute by his father. It includes a career as an instrumentalist before turning finally to the radio and television. A Radio-France, she has performed hundreds of shows with great musicians, composers and performers of our time and publicize the most diverse aspects of music in the world. During the 1970s, for television, she made a model of a "music lesson" with cellist Paul Tortelier. This is the beginning of a television career also, a success which extended over thirty emissions. TF1/TV Award and the Grand Prix of the Academy of music and film music have been awarded. In the field of radio, in 1988, the Jury Grand Prix Radio Company of Men of Letters awarded him unanimously the Grand Prix for the whole of his radio work. Having left his job at Radio-France, Mildred Clary has published a number of books. His disappearance in November 2010 was welcomed by France Musique.