It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of our President Joan Burns M.B.E. on January 3rd.

Joan was born 1st October 1922. A gifted pianist, she continued her advanced studies in Vienna after the war before returning to London to study with Louis Kentner.

In the late 1950's Joan organised musical appreciation classes for the Workers Educational Association in Manchester and soon had packed audiences at her regular lectures. At some point in the early 1960's one of her 'regulars' asked "why can't we go to some of these wonderful musical cities that you tell us about" and so Manchester Music Lovers  was born.

Joan made many broadcasts for both the BBC and ORF (Vienna). She appeared as a soloist with the Halle Orchestra and travelled extensively in the USA giving lectures to music clubs and other organisations.

Over the next fifty years Joan led several musical courses each year in the UK as well as visits abroad. In the 1970's and 80's Joan regularly took groups to Bayreuth as well as to performances of the Ring as far afield as Seattle and of course the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

In 1994 Joan was awarded the MBE by the Queen for ‘Services to Music'.

Joan was a key member of our society having a long and keen interest in promoting the study of Wagner. Her long association with us included frequent, well attended presentations, vigourous promotion of the Society and many attendances at talks and various functions. She was appointed our President a few years ago and maitained a supportive and involved President. She will be deeply missed as a mentor, teacher, friend and Wagnerite by us all. Farewell Joan.