School pays tribute to famous alumni Antony Hopkins following composer’s death at 93

Antony Hopkins maintained his involvement with music at Berkhamsted School to the end of his life
Antony Hopkins maintained his involvement with music at Berkhamsted School to the end of his life

Berkhamsted School has remembered one of its most famous alumni following the death of renowned composer and broadcaster Antony Hopkins last week.

‘Old Berkhamstedian’ Antony Hopkins CBE died in his home bought by the one of the school’s housemasters, Major Tom Hopkins, on Tuesday morning after his health deteriorated. He was 93.

Antony Hopkins. Photo: Derek Tamea

Antony Hopkins. Photo: Derek Tamea

The famed presenter of BBC radio programme Talking About Music over 36 years had been educated by Major Tom at the school, after being adopted by him when his father’s death left his mother struggling with four young children.

The school has posted a biography of Antony’s life and his involvement with the institution on their website.

The information reveals details from a record card showing he belonged to Reeves and Lower houses, and his intended profession was listed as ’Music Master’. He played 1st XV Rugby and 1st XI Cricket for his house, attained the rank of Sergeant in the Officers’ Training Corps and was a prefect in 1938.

During his time as pupil at the school, Antony was house singing and instrumental leader and belonged to the school orchestra. But as his fame grew and he became a household name when writing scores to popular films including the 1962 movie Billy Budd, the talented musician maintained strong links with the school.

In 2008, he donated the Antony Hopkins Trophy for Musicianship, which has been presented to a talented pupil each year since as part of the school’s Young Musician of the Year competition.

Current school principal Mark Steed said: “Antony Hopkins was a great supporter of music at the school and made a point of attending the Young Musician of the Year event each year to present his award.

“Unfortunately, due to failing health, he was unable to attend the 2014 event in April, but we will continue to present the award in his honour each year.”

Click here to view more from the school’s website, or here to read a tribute to the late composer from his wife, Beatrix.

A full tribute to Antony Hopkins will appear in this week’s Gazette, out Wednesday.