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Born in 1963, Alexander Waugh began his professional career as a classical music impresario. As a director of the entrepreneurial firm, Manygate Management Ltd, he was responsible for a host of eye-catching public events including The International Prize Winners Festival, The Bern Symphony Orchestra’s first UK tour, the world premiere of Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony and the management of many stars of the concert platform, notably the pianist, John Ogdon.
As a record producer he has made many recordings and received many awards, including 5 MRA awards, a Grand Prix du Disque, and a Grammy Award Nomination for his recording of Kurt Weill songs. In 1991 he was appointed opera critic of the Mail on Sunday and in 1992 chief opera critic of the London Evening Standard, where he was voted Opera Critic of the Year by Classic FM Magazine. During this time he wrote several guides to Opera on CD and two best-selling books on music: Classical Music, a New Way of Listening (1995) which was translated into fourteen foreign languages, and a popular sequel on opera. In 1996 he co-wrote (with his brother, Nat) Bon Voyage! which won the 12th Vivian Ellis Award for Best New Musical. Hailed by critic Sheridan Morley as “the most interesting and exciting new musical in a very long time!”
In 1998 he founded Travelman Ltd, an innovative company that publishes classic short stories in folded format. 350,000 stories sold in the first 9 months and the innovation received a Millennium Design Council Award in 1999 for “creative and innovative products of the New Millennium.” He is a director of Millennium and Copthorne & Hotels PLC and of Creative Cut Ltd.
His book, Time (Headline 1999), hailed by Patrick Moore as a “very special, outstandingly successful, a remarkable book,” continues to sell strongly around the world. God (Headline 2002), described by Christopher Hitchens in the New York Times as “a sparkling atheist polemic” was followed by Fathers and Sons (Headline 2004), which established his reputation as a lively and important writer on both sides of the Atlantic.
He has presented several television documentaries for BBC4. In 2008 he published The House of Wittgenstein, a biography of one of Europe’s most unusual families, which was listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize, has been translated into 12 foreign languages. In 2011 he wrote the screenplay for House of Wittgenstein as a commission for Scythia Films Inc of Canada.
Alexander Waugh is manager and archivist of the largest archive of Evelyn Waugh materials in Europe and is editor of the formidable new 40-volume scholarly edition of Evelyn Waugh’s complete writings for the Oxford University Press. He is also a trustee of the “Evelyn Waugh Estate” which controls the Evelyn Waugh electronic, broadcasting, and publishing rights worldwide.
As a literary critic he has reviewed books for a great many newspapers and magazines including The Times, Observer, Sunday and Daily Mails, Sunday and Daily Telegraphs, The Independent, The Spectator, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio 4, the Literary Review and Book Forum in the USA. He is a keen pianist and tennis player. As a popular public speaker he has presented talks on a wide range of subjects Holland, Austria, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, USA and at over 150 different locations in the United Kingdom.