Academic and Music Scholars were present at a fascinating, and very personal lecture given on Friday by Simon Blumlein, in which he told the story of his father, Alan Dower Blumlein, who was an electrical engineer and inventor responsible for some of the most extraordinary advances in recorded sound in the first part of the twentieth century, but one whose achievements have, until recently, gone largely unrecognized.
Alan Blumlein was the inventor of stereo sound; a remarkable fact in itself, but when one considers his other patents and major contributions in the fields of telecommunications, television, microphones and amplifiers, and his lead role in the development of H2S radar (which is widely considered to have shortened the duration of the second World War), it is clear that he was a genius.
Tragically, he was killed in a test flight on 7th June 1942, when his son was just six years old, and Simon Blumlein has devoted much of his life in seeking recognition for the father he barely knew.He was visibly emotional when telling the scholars that his father has just this year been awarded a posthumous Special Merit Grammy Award, one of a select few ever to have been awarded this accolade.
In a touching statement in this most personal of lectures, Mr Blumlein said:
If you are to lose your father at the age of six, make sure he is a genius, so you can spend the rest of your life discovering his achievements!
Head of Performance