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Jeremy Black MBE is a British historian and a Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of America and the West at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is the author of over 100 books, principally but not exclusively on 18th-century British politics and international relations, and has been described as "the most prolific historical scholar of our age".
Graduating from Cambridge with a starred first, he did postgraduate work at Oxford, and then taught at Durham, eventually as professor, before moving to Exeter in 1996. He has lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA, where he has held visiting chairs at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College. He was awarded an MBE in 2000 for services to stamp design, as advisor to the Royal Mail from 1997. Jeremy recently presently a TV series on BBC “Why the Industrial Revolution Happened Here”.
His work adds up to the most sustained presentation of British history in recent decades. He is a major exponent of military, diplomatic and cartographic history and has been important in helping the British to look at their past, as well as in representing British history to foreign audiences. He will be sharing his in a series of lectures on board the cruise from Dover to Lisbon. His books include The British Seaborne Empire; George II; George III; and Debating Foreign Policy in Eighteenth-Century Britain and one on the Politics of James Bond.
Jeremy, a NADFAS Accredited Lecturer, has headed the History of Art department at the British Institute of Florence since January 2014. His training is as a museum educator and art historian and his specialisation is the art and culture of Renaissance Italy. Today, he oversees a team of lecturers who contribute to the Institute’s history of art courses and study abroad programming, as well as a wide range of cultural events.
After graduating with a degree in Museum Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Jeremy completed a MA in Art History at Syracuse University as a Florence Fellow. He is an accredited NADFAS Lecturer, a member of the Association of Art Historians (AAH), a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and serves as the Academic Co-ordinator for the annual Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA High School Renaissance Award Programme
Stephen Carr-Smith spent 33 years in the Army. During 1962-1982, he served 10 years in Germany at the height of the Cold War. From 1988-1995 he was serving in NATO, most of which was spent helping develop the “New NATO” after the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR.
His last appointment was as the Deputy Director General of the NATO Communications Agency in Brussels. On leaving the Army in 1995, he worked for a company providing security and mine clearance services in remote and hostile countries; was the Senior Military Advisor to an operational analysis company owned by British Aerospace; and was the Chairman of a company developing opportunities to marry-up Russian technology with western finance and production.
From 1999 to 2006, he was the Ombudsman for Estate Agents, a national appointment dealing with redress and financial compensation for buyers and sellers of residential property throughout the UK. Since 2009, he has been the Chairman of Help Moving Office, an internet company run by his second son that has now expanded into America.
He has had a number of other involvements, like being an Honorary Colonel of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) – an all women, uniformed volunteer body that has supported the British Army for 100 years. From 1997 to 2003, he was a Colonel Commandant of the Royal Signals. From 2003 to 2013, he was the President of the Stragglers of Asia Cricket Club, with its origins in the Punjab in the 1920s – and, accompanied by his wife, he led tours to Sri Lanka in 2004 and to India in 2007.
Laurence was born in London in 1939, educated at a Grammar School in Brighton, and studied Physics at Brighton Technical College. He then changed course, won a scholarship to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and trained as an actor. He went to Nottingham Playhouse where he acted with many great actors and actresses, including Judy Dench; he was at the Edinburgh Festival and in the West End as well as many theatres up and down the country. He was in television for many years, and in the film Far from the Madding Crowd.
In 1975 he enrolled at Reading University to read Classics and gained first class honours. He went on to University College London to write a PhD thesis on the theme of Athenian politics in the fifth century BC. This was published in 1986 by Oxford University Press under the title The Quiet Athenian.
He began working as a tour guide both in English and Italian (which he speaks fluently due to a lifelong love of opera) and has travelled in many countries, including the US where for several years he was a guide through the western states, as well as the old Soviet Union, China and many European countries. He knows France and Italy well and has toured through them many times over a twenty year period.
Since 2009 he has lectured on cruise ships on aspects of ancient history, and has a particular knowledge of Sicily having guided through it many times. The southern coast of Italy and Sicily has a particular fascination for Laurence as it is the setting for Homer’s Odyssey.
Peter Cattermole graduated in geology at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He taught petrology, planetary geology and volcanology at both the Universities of Wales and Sheffield and conducted volcanological and petrological research in several countries, including Wales, Indonesia and Europe. While in Indonesia he studied volcanic activity in central Java, Bali and Lombok. He was a Principal Investigator with NASA’s Planetary Geology and Physics Program, working at both the Universities of Arizona and Sheffield, studying the volcanoes of Mars and Venus.
He has published many books and academic papers in the fields of both geology and astronomy and has appeared regularly on BBC TV’s “Sky at Night” programme when such topics as the Moon and planets were under the spotlight. Before entering academia he spent time as a draftsman, a climbing instructor, a museum curator and a forester. He also had a short spell teaching at Gordonstoun School.
Since retiring from academia he ran for many years a portfolio of specialist geological tours around the world, given many lectures and, having had a lifelong interest in astronomy, has organised and led numerous trips to witness total eclipses of the Sun. He continues to have a close interest in the volcanoes of Sicily and the Aeolian Isles and especially enjoys explaining modern geological ideas on cruise ships. He and his wife spend several months of every year in their finca on the island of La Gomera, naturally, an extinct volcano.
Simon is Director of Culture & Society at the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. Simon leads the Trust’s grant-funding programs for public engagement, humanities and social science research. He is also responsible for Wellcome Collection, the Trust’s public cultural venue; the Wellcome Library, which holds one of the world’s largest collections relating to the place health and medicine in human culture, and the Hub, an innovative interdisciplinary research centre. He was previously Head of the Wellcome Library where he led a highly successful digitisation programme and an exciting redesign of the Library's public spaces. Before joining the Trust, Simon was Director of Museums and Special Collections at the Royal College of Surgeons. He holds a first degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in history from King’s College London.
Simon has extensive experience in lecturing to a wide range of audiences. Many of his talks explore the history of medicine and health and its relevance to our lives today, and he is particularly skilled at bringing medical topics to life for non-medical audiences. His lecture topics include the history of medicine in Ancient Greece and Rome; the medical world of the Venetian Republic; the history of anatomy and the birth of modern clinical medicine; medical travellers; medical and natural history museums and collectors and cabinets of curiosity; the history of museums and the relationship between art and medicine. He has been a guest lecturer at organisations including the Wallace Collection, Dr Johnson’s House, Gresham College, Erasmus Darwin’s House, the Hogarth Society and the Foundling Museum. He has also contributed to a number of television and radio programmes, including a series of conversations with presenter Griff Rhys Jones about curious objects from the Wellcome Collection, due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in October 2015.
Robin Cormack is an art historian who works on Mediterranean art, particularly from Antiquity and Byzantium, but also from the Renaissance. He teaches in the Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge, and is giving lectures in 2014 in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and at the Universities of California at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Robin has published books on Byzantine Art, and co-curated the recent Royal Academy exhibition, Byzantium 330-1453.
He has a special side-interest in British architects who worked in Khartoum and New Delhi, and since he has always made it an aim never to write or lecture about monuments and sites unless he has visited them and studied them at first hand, travel is one of the things he does most often. Fortunately his wife, Professor Mary Beard, agrees with this aim, and travels too (and not just on twitter). So do his children who are both students working in Africa, and who spend time in Cairo and South Sudan. He is currently trying to learn to play the harpsichord, but that does not travel with him.
Anne has had a life-long interest in history and the religions of the world. This led to studying both topics for her first Degree and later for her Doctorate. She spent several years living in Africa and other overseas countries and this experience added to her interest in different cultures.
For many years she was Adviser in Inter Religious Relations for the Church of England. She was also Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches in Geneva and has sat on numerous advisory bodies for Inter Religious Relations both overseas and in the United Kingdom. She is currently Visiting Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University.
For several years Anne co-organised a Youth Exchange Programme for young Jews, Christians and Muslims between Jerusalem and East London and in recognition of her work in inter-religious relations was made a Lay Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral. She has also led numerous pilgrimages to Israel and Lebanon. She is an accredited NADFAS lecturer and travels widely lecturing in the UK and on cruise ships.
David Drewry is Honorary Fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University where he was previously Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute. David has research interests in environmental science, particularly geology, glaciology and climate change. He has published three books and more than 100 research papers (including in Nature and Science). He has led scientific expeditions to the Arctic (including Greenland, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, Iceland and Nunavut) as well as to Antarctica. He has travelled widely in Southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia as well as South America, and Australasia. He holds a Doctorate in Geophysics from the University of Cambridge and has honorary professorships at London University, Krakow Academy, Poland and Xiamen University, China. Professor Drewry is Vice-President of the European University Association, a Board member of the Natural History Museum in London, and was Vice- Chancellor (President) of Hull University. He was previously Director-General of the British Council, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Vice-President of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For five years he served as President of the International Arctic Science Committee to 2002.
David has been awarded the Patron’s Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Prix de la Belgica Gold Medal of the Royal Academy of Belgium, the Polar Medal and the United States Antarctic Service Medal and several honorary degrees from British and overseas universities. He has a mountain and a glacier named after him in Antarctica.
John wears two different 'hats', both of which you might see him wearing on this voyage to France and Portugal. In tandem with a fifty-year career as the actor John Leeson, involving work across repertory, voicework, West End shows and television, he trained with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust to gain credentials as a wine educator.
A longstanding member both of the Association of Wine Educators and the Circle of Wine Writers, he is a core tutor for The Wine Education Service and writes their regular monthly online wine blog. John has enjoyed shipboard lecturing assignments with SAGA, Fred Olsen, Hebridean, and now, happily, Voyages to Antiquity. He will be hosting a series of wine tastings covering the regions we visit and he has been specially invited to share 'A Dog’s Life' with you – a reminiscence of his freewheeling acting career including his time spent both on DAD’S ARMY and on DOCTOR WHO as the voice of Tom Baker’s iconic robot dog, K9. Acknowledged by his peers as a more-than-decent cook, his recipe collection 'Dog’s Dinners' - with wine recommendations, of course – was published a couple of years ago by Fantom Films.
Hugh Ellwood was educated in the classics and went to university in Rome to study philosophy. It was here that art and history became a reality and after four years he returned to Manchester to study architecture. After graduation, he became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He pursued a career as an architect with Building Design Partnership, the largest multi-discipline design organisation in the UK. For 21 years he was a partner in the practice, working on housing, school and hospital projects such as the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham and the New General Infirmary at Leeds.
For some years Hugh was an external examiner in Architecture at the University of Manchester as well as a visiting lecturer in the history of art and architecture at the University of Central Lancashire. He has also lectured extensively to various societies and organisations on art and architecture and is a NADFAS accredited lecturer.
During the 1980s he began to sketch with watercolour as a complement to the pursuit of architecture. He prefers to work in watercolour, ink, pencil and pastel. His subjects are mainly buildings, the landscape and the relationship between the two. He prefers to work outdoors, rather than in the studio.
During the year he spends at least three months with his wife in Switzerland and Italy as well as visiting other places of interest abroad to study, photograph and sketch. The areas of the Italian lakes, Rome and Venice are particular favourites.
Christopher Fielden has spent almost sixty years in the wine trade visiting over a hundred countries, buying, selling and drinking wine.
In his spare time he has written sixteen books on wine-related subjects including two official text-books for the trade and one that was selected as 'Wine Book of the Year' at the Gastronomic Book Fair in Beijing. He has been President of the Wine & Spirit Association of Great Britain and Chairman of the Circle of Wine-Writers, as well as being a longstanding member of the Association of Wine Educators. He had a column in Decanter for over ten years and a regular slot on Radio 2.
Ted Harrison is an artist and writer. He is a former BBC correspondent and Radio 4 presenter.
For the last 15 years Ted has had a home in Shetland where he has his studio and for several years in the 1980s he and his family lived on an island in Orkney. His love for and connections with the northern isles of Britain are deep-rooted. Much of his art is influenced by the sea, land and weather of the area. However he also uses the media of contemporary art to explore religious ideas visually, for as well as having an MA in Fine Art he has a PhD in theology. His work has been shown in several of the Britain’s great, historic cathedrals including London’s St Paul’s, Norwich, Llandaff and St David’s.
As the author of some 25 books, his interests are wide. His subjects have included stigmata, apocalypse cults, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana.
Visit Ted's website for more information -
After graduating in Latin and Ancient History at Exeter University and a career in BBC Television, Gillian became deeply involved in archaeology. As an author, historian, archaeologist, tour guide and NADFAS accredited public speaker of considerable experience and astonishing range, the Reithian mantra of ‘educate, inform and entertain’ remains central to her work; she specialises in lively, passionate and engaging history that connects with our lives today, enabling audiences to relate to archaeology and to find depth and colour in our modern lives through the past’s continuing influence on us today.
She has lectured to audiences including the national media, Classical Associations, art galleries, museums and literary festivals and her books include Visiting the Past: finding and understanding Britain’s archaeology and Roman Britain, while Latin All Around Us: Why the Romans still matter today is due out in 2014 (CUP) and she is currently working on her next book on the History of the Mediterranean. She also shares her love of ancient history by teaching Latin and Roman History to adults and by continuing to work with community archaeology projects. She embraces all media for spreading the word about archaeology and was most recently heard on Radio 4.
To read more about Gillian's work, visit her blog: www.muddyarchaeologist.co.uk
Philip Hurst is a very popular lecturer on world affairs, geopolitics and modern history, based in Spain. After several decades practising in the stratospheric regions of international law, his focus is now history, with a particular interest in modern states in transition, from colony to independence and from dictatorship to democracy, Imperial history, and the geopolitics of the First World War.
Formerly Deputy Director of The Australian Institute of International Affairs in Canberra, and Counsel at The World Bank in Washington DC, Philip is a distinguished Anglo-Australian international and constitutional lawyer. In the course of his diverse career he practised in New York, Washington DC, and London, having been an English solicitor, a member of the New York and California Bars, and a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of Australia.
Born in England and educated in Australia at the University of Sydney and the Australian National University, he completed post-graduate studies in law and international relations in the United States at the University of Virginia. Philip has worked in many of the world’s most remote and exotic countries, having visited well over 100 nations. He has a special expertise in India (after more than 40 visits), the Middle East (having made 16 visits to Iran since the Islamic Revolution), and several South American states as well as Southern Africa and South-East Asia.
Since withdrawing from legal practice, Philip devotes his time to lecturing at sea, historical research and writing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London (F.R.G.S.), and now lives in Zahara de la Sierra, near Seville, Spain.
Dr. Thomas Mannack is Reader in Classical Iconography at the University of Oxford where he teaches Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, and has taught Greek Art at King's College, London. He is an internationally known expert on Greek figure-decorated pottery and studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and European Archaeology in Kiel, Heidelberg and Oxford. He gained a first class doctorate at Kiel University. Dr Mannack has published books and papers in English and German on Greek pottery, Greek sculpture, and the reception of ancient art.
He has been invited to present papers by many universities and academies including New York, Berlin, Tours, Brussels, Munich, Copenhagen, Vienna, Basel and Zurich.
In his spare time, Dr. Mannack is passionate about flat German tin figures, which his wife Sigrid hates, and on which he has published two scholarly article, just to irk her. His daughters, Lilith and Fidelis, have rejected the refined and beautiful field of Classical Archaeology in favour of “Science”, but are occasionally willing to accompany him on cruises (and paint toy figures better than him).
As an ornithologist and research ecologist Peter has travelled widely and is a regular and highly successful cruise ship lecturer. Peter’s interest in the environment and ornithology in particular was encouraged during his schooldays at Sedbergh.Whilst still at school he was part of one of the first expeditions to visit South-East Iceland to study the breeding distribution of the Great Skua. Subsequently he was to organise and lead his own expeditions to the Shetland and Faeroe Islands and was awarded a grant whilst an undergraduate at Cambridge University to extend his studies to Arctic Scandinavia. Such was his skill and expertise that he received his licence and has been ringing birds for well over fifty years.
He went on to teach, working in England (Marlborough, Shrewsbury and St John’s School, Leatherhead) and Scotland at The Edinburgh Academy culminating with his final appointment as Headmaster of Lancaster Royal Grammar School where he spent eighteen very happy and successful years. Peter is currently researching the environmental impact of changing patterns of agriculture of the birds of the Western Dales, working in conjunction with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Environment Agency.
He is now in great demand to speak to enthusiasts from the RSPB, Scottish Ornithologists Club and regional Wildlife Trusts. In common with many teenagers Peter was faced with choices and although he finally decided to follow a science route into teaching his other love is music and playing the cello. He has pursued this from his schooldays playing now with a number of orchestras in North West England.
In recent years Peter has enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with passengers on a range of cruises vising places as far flung as Polynesia, the Amazon, Central America, New England, the Atlantic Islands, Iceland, , Greenland, the White Sea, Baltic and Mediterranean, SE Asia East Africa and the Indian Ocean. His talks which include top quality illustration and sound and video clips are both entertaining and informative. When not lecturing Peter welcomes the opportunity to enhance passengers’ experiences of the wildlife around them out on deck, with on-board commentaries and on tour from the ship.
Maggie was educated at St. Paul’s Girls’ School, trained as an actress at Rada, and was taught to sing by the great English tenor, Heddle Nash. She got into wine entirely by accident after some years on the stage and screen, working originally for International Distillers & Vintners at Harlow as a PA and then becoming Manager in charge of product training. Following this, she became wine buyer for British Rail and the Malmaison Wine Club which was to be the first of the Privatisations under the Conservative Government of Mrs. Thatcher. She passed the Master of Wine Examination in 1986, and since then has worked privately as an educator, wine writer, lecturer and consultant. Her top speciality has been Champagne, but she has also been involved in the development of English Wine since 1989.
Peter Medhurst’s work as singer, pianist and lecturer-recitalist has taken him all over the world, and in the last few years he has toured New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and made frequent tours in Europe, giving performances in Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris and Spain.
Closer to home, he has presented events at the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and the Royal Festival Hall on Beethoven String Quartets, Mozart Operas, Vermeer’s Music Lesson, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Golden Age of Vienna, and 18th Century Venetian Art and Music.
He has also directed presentations at the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, linking the visual arts with the world of 17th & 18th century music making.
He is a familiar face to audiences of music societies, regional theatres and British festivals as well as to those of arts based organisations such as The Art Fund, The National Trust. He is also a NADFAS accredited lecturer.
Over the years Peter Medhurst has lectured for the universities of Kent and Surrey, directed a wide range of choirs, vocal ensembles and instrumental groups, and adjudicated and given masterclasses for the British Federation of Music Festivals.
Peter is director of The Classical Music Company, and part of the triumvirate – with television director David Coleman and television producer Sheridan Dudley – that has formed Blue Thread Medhurst Productions. The organisation promotes special musical events, creates films about the arts, produces recordings and organises specialist music tours to unusual locations both at home and abroad.
Read more on http://petermedhurst.com ›
Alan studied History at Lancaster University specialising in the development of Western Science, Art and Philosophy and has an MA in Education. He now works as a professional artist and poet and delivers much loved public talks and performances. He has twice been a visiting fellow and artist-and-poet-in-residence at Durham University (2012-13 and 2015-16) and has given lectures in many prestigious venues and on cruise ships travelling the globe.
Alan has been involved in creative collaborations with Glyndebourne Opera and the Royal Shakespeare Company and produced art and poetry in-residence in a number of historical and international venues, including the preserved studio of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (painter of “The Scream”) and the former prison cell of Austrian artist Egon Schiele. He is currently working with German composer Søren Nils Eichberg on words for a new classical song-cycle for voice and symphony orchestra and creating painted artworks for a sixteen-year long project (exhibition as a work-in-progress, Manchester Cathedral, 2017). He has held solo exhibitions at the Hay Festival and at other locations in the UK and abroad. In art, poetry and his uniquely idiosyncratic and entertaining talks he explores themes taken from art history, mythology and literature and is inspired by music, modern art, theatre, science and his own life
John Osborne graduated in Classical subjects at Cambridge University and taught Latin and Greek language and Ancient History – now revamped as Classical Civilization - for over thirty years at Marlborough College, Wiltshire, where he was Senior Master. His main interests are in Roman imperial history and the architecture of religious buildings.
He worked for several years teaching English for the British Council in Iran and Turkey, which gave him a now long-standing interest in Islamic culture as well as the ancient civilizations of these two countries.
Since 2015 he been a NADFAS Accredited Lecturer, lecturing regularly in the UK and abroad, including Australia and New Zealand. He has run courses on Ancient Rome and on Islam at the University of Bath, runs an annual course on Mediaeval Parish Churches at Marlborough College Summer School and guides at Salisbury Cathedral.
He has lectured on classical tours to Italy, Greece and Tunisia and has also led specialist tours to various countries in SE Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, including Croatia, Romania and (especially) Bulgaria, where he runs his own cultural and historical tours. He has taught himself Bulgarian and is writing 'A Traveller’s History of Bulgaria'. He and his wife, Karen, have led several highly successful tours to Turkey and Iran in recent years and took a group to Georgia in 2014.
Jonathan Phillips is Professor of Crusading History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of numerous books on the crusades, most recently Holy Warriors: A Modern History of the Crusades which was published by the Bodley Head to very positive reviews and selected as a ‘History Book of 2009’ by The Sunday Telegraph.
Phillips’ previous monograph The Second Crusade: Extending the Frontiers of Christendom, was strongly praised by reviewers in Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, and his earlier The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople was shortlisted for the Hessell-Tiltman Literary Prize 2005.
His current research interests centre upon the involvement of the Italian cities of Pisa, Genoa and Venice in the crusades. This will lead to a monograph, associated articles, as well as an introduction to a translation of the texts of Caffaro of Genoa (with Martin Hall).
Over the last eighteen months Phillips has given invited conference papers and lectures in Damascus, Istanbul, Malta, St Louis USA, Cardiff, Denmark. Professor Phillips has appeared in numerous television and radio programmes, most recently on Channel 4's 'Back from the Dead: Crusaders' and BBC Radio 4’s 'Start the Week' to discuss Holy Warriors. He is currently filming a major 6 part series 'The Road from Christ to Constantine' which he will present. He was the consultant and an interviewee in Channel 4’s programme on the Crusades in 2009, in Boris Johnson’s BBC2 programme 'After Rome' (2008), and the consultant and lead presenter for the History Channel’s 'Crescent and the Cross' (2005). A co-editor of the academic journal, Crusades, he also co-chairs the Crusades and Eastern Mediterranean seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, London.
Photo © Erik van den Boom
Come & sing at sea with Bob Porter!
Bob Porter’s experience as a choir master, conductor and artistic director is back by popular demand. The voyage will include daily singing workshops and a final performance at the end of the voyage, arranged by Bob Porter and the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bob worked as a musician and teacher, returning to Guildhall to teach and becoming Head of Wind and Percussion in 1985 - a position he still holds today. In the early 1980s, Bob founded the Brandenburg Sinfonia, the first of a group of orchestras under his artistic direction and later in 2010, the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.
Starting with six concerts at St Martins-in-the-Fields, it has now grown to around 120 events annually making it the largest and most significant Choral Festival in the country.
This year the Festival boasted more than 70 choirs in 67 concerts, covering the standard masterpieces of the choral repertoire along with jazz, barbershop and gospel, also making it one of the most varied and inclusive Choral Festivals!
David Price-Williams has a first degree from the University of Wales in Ancient Near Eastern languages (Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic etc.), with a subsidiary in Attic and Koine Greek. His post-graduate work and his doctorate, from the University of London, is in Near Eastern archaeology. His first overseas archaeological field work in the eastern Mediterranean was in 1969 as a field surveyor at the classical site of Knidos in Turkey. He then worked for the Smithsonian Institution as an archaeological field surveyor on excavations in the Near East before directing his own field research in the same area through the early 1970’s.
David has spent many years working in the countries of Africa south of the Zambesi. From 1976 to 1989 he was the director of a multi-disciplinary team of up to twenty scientists from several universities researching the effects of climatic change on human evolution in Africa. He was based in Swaziland, during which time he also oversaw the building of the Swaziland National Museum and where he eventually became Director of Antiquities.
David has been associated with the eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, Jordan and the Near East for more than 40 years. He is deeply involved with all aspects of Near Eastern culture, history and archaeology.
David has just retired after thirty seven years lecturing on the Archaeology of Western Asia (Eastern Mediterranean) at the Institute of Archaeology for the University of London Extra Mural Department. He is the author and co-author of numerous academic papers on the area. David has designed and lectured on many tours to Greece, Turkey and the Near East and is very familiar with the archaeological sites in the area. David is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an elected member of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, and a life member of the Southern African Quaternary Research Association. He speaks Turkish and reads Classical Greek.
Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training and has degrees from the University of Strathclyde and the University of California. After undertaking research in Australia he returned to the UK and took up lecturing positions at the universities of Edinburgh and Warwick.
In 1981 he made a career change by moving to industry where he held senior management positions, first in a pharmaceutical company and later in diagnostic, food and environmental companies. After 20 years in industry he made another career change and started working as a biotechnology consultant as well as being an adviser to various UK governmental organisations (Health Protection Agency, Food Standards Agency, and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). He was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to the Food Standards Agency.
Sandy still consults widely as well as being Chairman of a number of small, high technology companies. He has written a number of very popular scientific textbooks but is particularly proud of his recent publication entitled Plants, Poisons and Personalities which is aimed at lay audiences. Sandy’s passion is gardening and the half-acre garden of his house between London and Oxford is filled with unusual trees and shrubs.
Over the years he has shown many groups round his garden and when he does so he tells them the stories behind the plants that he grows. These stories, and his experiences in industry, form the basis of his entertaining cruise lectures that cover topics in gardening, uses of plants, plant history and plant conservation.
Ernie Rea is a celebrated broadcaster who specialises on the history of religions and the way that faith impacts on the contemporary world. His regular radio programme, Beyond Belief, was awarded the prestigious Sony Gold Award for the best Speech Programme on British Radio. He worked for the BBC for 22 years in a variety of production and editorial roles. From 1989 -2001 he was Head of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC responsible for all their television and radio programmes nationally and locally. During this time, he spent much time in the United States, brokering co-production television deals with leading American broadcasters. He was closely involved in a variety of key national events, including the Funeral Service for Diana, Princess of Wales. He is in wide demand as a speaker at a wide variety of events, including international inter faith conferences, literary festivals, and academic symposia.
In 1997 he was personally awarded the Gold Medal of the International Council for Christians and Jews for his contribution to Inter Faith understanding. He has First Class Degrees in Theology and in History and Politics which helped fuel his passion for the study of world religions and the way in which they impact on the ancient and modern worlds. He was one time Visiting Lecturer at the Department of Education at Manchester University.
Dr Paul Roberts a NADFAS Accredited Lecturer is the newly appointed Sackler Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. He was previously Senior Roman Curator in the Department of Greece and Rome at the British Museum. He studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Oxford and lived in Italy for several years. He has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy. His research focuses on the day-to-day lives of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds.
He was the driving force behind the major exhibition "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum", with its unparalleled glimpse into daily life in the Roman Empire. At the Ashmolean he is already working on a new exhibition, Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea -the history of Sicily through shipwreck finds, to open in June 2016.
Joyce grew up in Brazil and Mexico, then moved to the States and obtained a PhD in Medieval History from Rutgers University in New Jersey. She was endlessly curious about what shapes people’s actions, and thus focused on the history of religion and aspects of social history, like the history of sexuality.
Joyce was an award-winning teacher at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. When she retired, she could indulge her twin passions of writing books and giving lectures all over the world. Joyce is an author of more than ten books, including a best-selling western civilization textbook, "The West in the World", and other non-fiction books on history and religion, including "The Beast Within: Animals in the Middle Ages", "The Blood of Martyrs: Unintended Consequences of Ancient Violence" and the award-winning "Perpetua’s Passion: Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman". Her latest book, “Rome’s Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire,” (John Hopkins, 2015) tells the biography of a woman who travelled in Spain, and lost North Africa to the Vandals.
Salisbury will bring this research to life as we cruise through the lands this Empress ruled. Joyce has also appeared on Public Television several times, most recently in the series “Ancient Roads from Christ to Constantine” (2015). She is the expert on North Africa and martyrs, based on her research and travels to that continent. She is also a regular on Public Radio, and is currently writing a series of lectures for the “Great Courses,” which will appear in early 2017.
Even with all this writing, Joyce has had plenty of time to travel, and has circumnavigated the world three times teaching on Semester at Sea’s ship, the MV Explorer. She has also lectured on many commercial cruise ships. She will bring these insights - as well as her personal experiences - to her lectures.
Gillian studied Classics and Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne before going on to complete a PhD in Classical Archaeology at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a research fellowship at St Hugh's College, Oxford. Until her recent return to Australia to take up her position at La Trobe University, Gillian was Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Birmingham.
Gillian is currently Director of The Trendall Research Centre for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at La Trobe, and her research interests are the ancient Greek colonisation of Sicily and Italy, archaeology and art of Greece and Magna Graecia and burial customs, the subject of a book she's currently completing. She is also series editor of the IAA Interdisciplinary Series and co-edited its first volume on children in the past, Children, Childhood and Society. Gillian is also Curator of the IAA Museum, a Research Associate of the Beazley Archive, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
Angela Smith is a freelance art historian and has been an NADFAS Accredited Lecturer for a number of years. She studied Art History at Leicester University and holds a PhD in cultural history from the Warburg Institute, London University. She has spent more than a decade teaching Art History for Leicester University and also Bishop Grosseteste University. She also regularly leads cultural tours to Spain for NADFAS. Her breadth of knowledge and passion to explain developments in art within its historical context is reflected in one of her recent publications: A Timeline of Art History. (The Book Forge, 2012).
Iberian art and architecture of all periods is a particular interest and one of the lectures she will be giving on the Seville to Dover cruise in 2016 will feature the history and use of azulejo - the ceramic tiles widely found decorating Spanish and Portuguese buildings. Trained as a late medievalist, the art and architecture of the middle ages continues to have a particular fascination for Angela.
Her particular expertise in Spanish art and all things medieval will come together in her lecture on the great pilgrimage church at Santiago de Compostela.
Victor Stock is a retired Anglican priest, who was the Dean of Guildford in the Church of England. Apart from his being an Associate of King's College, he is also a member of the Order of Australia (OAM), Doctor of the University of Surrey, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Victor was educated at Christopher Wren School, West London and King's College London. Ordained in 1970, he was a curate in Pinner and then Chaplain of the University of London's Church of Christ the King, Gordon Square. He was Rector of St Mary-le-Bow in the City of London from 1986 where he hosted 15 years of dialogues with well known people such as Judi Dench, Roy Strong and Jeremy Paxman.
Victor is a regular broadcaster. Retirement has meant Victor has more time to teach and preach and is able to live in London which he describes as the greatest city in the world. He also hugely enjoys being a Governor in both state and private Schools and sitting on the Fabric Committee of Salisbury Cathedral as well as being a Priest Vicar at Westminster Abbey. Victor’s interests include travel, politics and gardening. He is a fascinating and highly entertaining raconteur and his reflections embrace social, political and humanitarian issues of global importance, as well as frequently hilarious anecdotes. His diary from 20 years has turned into the entertaining book 'Taking Stock: Confessions of a City Priest'.
Dr Richard Thomas has a degree in Economics and Politics from London University and a PhD in History and Comparative Politics from Trinity College Dublin. His career has been in the field of International Development working as an academic, a consultant and as a long term (1991-2010) staff member of the UKs Department for International Development.
He has worked in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as those countries of Eastern Europe and the former Yugoslavia who have recently joined or applied to join the EU. He was a member of the first British civilian team to visit Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia after their civil wars to help plan for their reconstruction. Certainly Dubrovnik looks better now than it did in the mid-1990s!
Gaynor is a freelance radio and television producer and consultant and trainer on presentation and the press and broadcast media.
She spent 25 years working for the BBC as a Radio 4 presenter and as an award-winning producer of television and radio programmes. She was Head of BBC Radio Wales and was the first Managing Editor of BBC Radio 5, which is a national news and sports channel.
While at the BBC Gaynor was sent to South Africa post-apartheid to train black presenters for SABC. Nowadays she works as a media consultant with Charities, and spends her spare time sailing the high seas or at home with her husband Ernie and beautiful dog, Bertie.
Whilst on board Aegean Odyssey, Gaynor will be on board to host a book club for passengers wishing to learn more about the fascinating sites visited. Please note Gaynor will not be lecturing.
Candace Weddle is a professor of art history at the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History from the University of Southern California and Tulane University, respectively, and a B.A. in Classics from Baylor University in her home state of Texas.
As an archaeologist, she has joined teams at sites ranging from the Neolithic to Byzantine periods, most recently the Austrian Archaeological Institute’s team excavating the “Temple of Domitian” in the well-known city of Ephesus in Turkey. The recipient of a Fulbright and a fellowship from the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, she spent a year in Istanbul conducting research and falling in love with that spectacular city.
Candace has travelled widely and spoken on ancient and medieval topics at conferences and as an invited lecturer at universities in the U.S., the U.K., Turkey, and Indonesia, and has also served as a lecturer for the Smithsonian Journeys program. She teaches courses covering the scope of Western art, but her primary research interest is the sensory experience of Graeco-Roman life, especially the use of archaeological and literary evidence to better understand the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and other sensations experienced by worshipers during ancient religious ceremonies.
Recent publications include articles in the Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology and the collected volumes 'Making Senses of the Past: Toward a Sensory Archaeology' and 'Senses of the Empire'.
Brian is the Emeritus Professor of Geology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and currently holds adjunct professorial positions in the Universities of Manchester and Bristol in the UK, and Dublin in Ireland. He has also held university teaching positions in The Netherlands, Canada and the USA. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and a Member of the Energy Institute, and has published over 100 papers and several books. He has made TV appearances in the UK, USA and Far East and presented Radio 4 programmes for the BBC.
Brian gained his Ph.D. in sedimentary geology from the University of Wales far too many years ago to admit to, and in 2004 was awarded a D.Sc. degree in recognition of his global contribution to sedimentary research. He is a consultant to, and undertakes training courses for, the Oil Industry and several small geological service companies. He has lectured on Voyages to Antiquity cruises since 2011. His studies have taken him to Australia, SE Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America which has given him the opportunity to share his enthusiasm for rocks and earth processes with adult education classes, industry personnel and students alike.
In addition to being passionate about Geology, Brian is an ardent Rugby enthusiast [he's Welsh of course !!] and a devoted follower of American Jazz.
John Wreglesworth is an independent scholar. He holds an honours degree in History from the University of Manchester and a doctorate from the University of Leeds. With considerable experience of lecturing from school to postgraduate level, John has held an award from the Cañada Blanch Foundation for research in Spain and a fellowship at the Centre for Mediterranean Studies at the University of Exeter.
He has read academic papers to international conferences in Tunisia and the UK. Most recently, he has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of Medieval History (2009) and an Encyclopaedia of Medieval Chronicles (2010). He is currently working on a book examining Spanish chronicles.
Since 1998, John, an enthusiastic traveller, has been actively involved in cultural tourism as a group lecturer and tour leader on land throughout Europe, from Portugal to Russia, as well as South America, Ecuador and Peru. At sea, he has been a guest speaker on cruises in the Mediterranean as well as the Caribbean and along the coasts of South America.