Born in Enfield, North London, I was the first person in my family to attend a selective school and to go to university. At The Latymer School, Edmonton, which was then the top co-educational grammar school in the country), I was a Latymer Foundation Music Scholar and eleven times school prizewinner. Aged fourteen, I won a Local Authority Junior Exhibition Award to the Royal College of Music, London (RCM), where I studied piano. I continued my studies at undergraduate level, graduating with First Class Honours in the Bachelor of Music degree as the top pianist of my year, and was the winner of twelve prizes and awards. After postgraduate study at the RCM (resulting in the award of the degree of Master of Music in Performance Studies: Applied Research) and Christ’s College, Cambridge, I was elected to a Junior Fellowship at the RCM, and as a result was presented to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.
By the time I wished to continue my postgraduate studies, the British academic establishment had ceased to be open to someone of my traditionalist and conservative views. Consequently, my subsequent education was mostly undertaken in the international programmes of overseas universities, initially in Denmark and France, but later also in Africa and Latin America, where I have studied via distance learning. These studies represent the broadening of my academic interests to embrace areas including business, law, education, history and theology.
Among other academic credentials, I have earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, and a Doctorate (PhD) in Humanities from the International Program of the Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, Costa Rica. I additionally hold a Doctorate in Education with specialization in Higher Education from the former Universidad International in Panama, and a further Doctorate in Humanities in History from the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, for which my thesis was on the British Old Catholic Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew (1852-1919). I have also received several earned and honorary academic awards in the area of theology and religious studies, and in 2022 was awarded the degrees of Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Divinity, jure dignitatis, by the William Laud Seminario de Ciencias Humanas Integrales, Ecuador.
More information about the major areas of my career can be found at these links:
My studies and work have brought me into close contact with people from many different countries and backgrounds. I have had a particularly close working relationship with western Africa, with valued colleagues in Nigeria and other countries in the region, and have also developed strong professional contacts in Latin America and the United States. Despite these factors, I am not an internationalist, but instead a Romantic nationalist. I believe strongly in the nation as the foundation for society, and that the promotion of mutual respect for the traditions and established ways of life of the different peoples of the world is the path towards lasting peace and understanding between them. The destruction of these distinguishing characteristics by globalization is something that I oppose, and that I see as an attempt to bring people to a common denominator rather than understanding them as individuals within a wide range of personal and societal contexts.
I maintain a very wide range of interests beyond my work. One particular passion is for High Victorian and Edwardian domestic architecture and the sympathetic restoration of houses from this era. While my family and I were living in Norfolk, I completed work on a former lodge house dating from 1837 which was restored with a fully-appointed domestic chapel in its grounds. More recently, we have completed a much more extensive project involving a late Victorian family house in Shropshire. Our style remains in essence the haute boheme that I absorbed in younger years. It is a style where everything has a personal significance, and that leads naturally to the collection – even the curation – of interesting things that are redolent of meaning and experience.
I spent the earlier part of my life in London, the home of my family for many generations, and have interests in aspects of its local and social history and the history of its transport systems. I was admitted a Freeman of the City of London in 2000.
I am also a member of the International High IQ Society, New York, USA, which admits those above the 95th percentile of IQ. I was diagnosed as gifted at a young age and take a close interest in the education of gifted and highly sensitive children and adults, as well as those with AS/HFA and similar neurotypes.