TIM Porter is a speaker on historical and musical topics whose reputation in Worcestershire and elsewhere is second to none. Tim lived up to his reputation on the evening of Thursday 23 February when he gave the Historical Society a superb talk about the life and works of Muzio Clementi - composer, piano teacher, piano manufacturer and international celebrity.

Born in Rome in 1752, Clementi was “discovered” as a teenager by a rich Englishman, Peter Beckford, who was doing the Grand Tour. Beckford brought him to England to enable him to pursue his musical education and Clementi lived here for the rest of his life. Apart, that is, from the many tours he undertook throughout Europe, first as a virtuoso performer of his own and other piano compositions and then, later in life, with a large team of performers and technicians, not to mention a load of pianos, in order to sell his products.

It is thought, said Tim, that his Evesham connection may have come about through his second wife, a Worcestershire woman called Emma Gisbourne, whom he married when he was 59. Having lived in London for most of his life, in old age he moved first to Lichfield, then to Evesham. His stay in Evesham was brief, possibly less than a year; he died here in 1832 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

There was a very lively discussion afterwards about the exact place where Clementi lived in Evesham (thought to be Prospect House off Elm Road, but possibly not) and the circumstances of his death. Society members proved to be a mine of information on the topic, though no definite answers emerged.

The Society’s season of talks continues on the evening of Thursday 30 March, when Wilma Hayes will be talking about the Empress of Ireland, involved in a little-known maritime disaster in the St Lawrence River in 1914.

For more information visit the Society’s website: www.valeofeveshamhistory.org or contact the Secretary, Gerry Harte, on 01386 870665.