Jonathan who?

 Well, here’s a thing…

Just now I was walking along Piccadilly (having discovered that Hatchards shuts at 7 pm – bother…) when I passed St James’s Church and saw a poster advertising a concert.  Indeed, streams of happy and excited punters were converging on the church porch as I stood

I looked more closely at the poster:  ‘An evening of music and wine, in aid of VSO.  The BBC’s Martha Kearney introduces music by Schubert, Chopin and Mendelssohn, performed by BBC Radio 3 Choir Of The Year, Chantage, and artists including Lucy Parham, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, Martin Prendergast, and… Jonathan Burton.’


It’s a very strange feeling, suddenly seeing one’s own name on public display (well, perhaps not if your name is Paul Smith, or Angela Gheorghiu).  A moment of panic:  had I perhaps agreed, months ago, to take part in a charity concert, and then forgotten all about it?  I started to reach for my diary;  hang on a minute… no, this can’t be right…

I have come across a few other Jonathan Burtons in my lifetime.  There was one at Cambridge (Trinity Hall, reading Law;  I never met him), and one who was Head of Marketing at ENO (a really nice chap;  in the end I had to leave, of course, as the company wasn’t big enough for both of us – he didn’t have a middle name, and I wasn’t about to change mine).  And there’s the very wonderful graphic artist (with a nice website: who does brilliant and insightful pictures of composers for Classic FM Magazine (I once e-mailed him to say how confusing it would be if they were to publish an article by me and he got to illustrate it.  I’m still waiting for his reply).  But what would any of these JBs have performed at a concert?  (I see that it was sponsored by Classic FM, so it’s just possible that the graphic artist was doing lightning sketches… surely not).

Then I remembered:  once upon a time, doing a Google search for my own name (oh, come on – we’ve all done it), I discovered a Jonathan Burton who was a tenor at Palm Beach Opera.  (You can see a picture of him here — in the company of the lovely Faith Esham:

Maybe this JB is making a bid for international stardom?  Perhaps he is grooming himself to fill the recently vacated position of The Third Tenor, and is even now embarking on a strict regime of huge plates of pasta and lessons in advanced handkerchief-waving?

If so, life for us Jonathan Burtons is about to become even more complicated.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering how many punters are sitting in St James’s Piccadilly even as I write, grinding their teeth in disappointment that the advertised Jonathan Burton turned out not to be me?  Hmmm… thought not.

Explore posts in the same categories: concerts, Life: living of, London, music, No one cares what you had for lunch

One Comment on “Jonathan who?”

  1. jonathanburton Says:

    And here is a more sinister namesake I’d really rather not have found out about…

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