Curriculum Vitae



Suffered a traditional education at Hastings Grammar School in the 1960s, emerging with a small handful of 'O' levels, and an even smaller handful of 'A' levels. This was enough to ensure rejection by all universities applied for except Sheffield, who welcomed him with open arms, as the university orchestra desperately needed a trombonist.

At Sheffield, found he was not as stupid as his school teachers had led him to believe. Read Music, with Philosophy and German as subsidiary subjects, and achieved firsts in all three subjects in the first year; went on to study the usual harmony, counterpoint, history of music, criticism and analysis, and conducting; and produced a dissertation on the songs of Charles Ives, and a folio of compositions. Awarded a BMus (hons) upper second class, and decided to try for an MA. A further year at Sheffield spent researching for a thesis, Piano Music in the USA 1900-45, but, grantless, ran out of money before completion.

Later, was forced by unemployment to rethink career path. Accepted at London College of Furniture, and whisked through the four-year piano technology course in two years, gaining distinctions in the TEC Higher Diploma in Musical Instrument Technology, and City & Guilds Certificates in Stringed Keyboard Instrument Manufacture.


Started out as a teacher of English as a foreign language to Scandinavian adults, and in 1977 co-founded a small residential language school offering short, intensive one-to-one courses "tailor-made" for foreign businesspeople. As well as teaching and day-to-day running, wrote course materials and promotional literature. To supplement income from this highly successful venture, also worked part-time as peripatetic brass teacher, music teacher at local sixth form college, checked and edited articles on BBC Radio 3’s Music Index, and wrote articles for Grisewood Dempsey children's encyclopedias.

Then back to college, and in 1983 set up piano tuning and repair business. Again, to supplement income from yet another lucrative business, took part-time jobs as Assistant Manager of Rye Art Gallery, compiling and maintaining mailing list of European academics for Harcourt Brace and Company, and as Music Editor on the Spitalfields festival programme book.

Since the mid-1990s has divided time between piano tuning/restoration (including being Curator of the Stanhope Collection of Historical Keyboard Instruments) until Psoriatic Arthritis set in and made it all but impossible; writing (see the Words page of this website); composing and arranging; and playing trombone in various jazz and rock bands (see the Music page of this website).

Hobbies and Interests:

Writing palindromic poetry (no, really: have a look at the Words page of this website)

Compiling and solving cryptic crossword puzzles, word games in general

Lexicography, philology and etymology

Collecting and reading dictionaries, thesauruses and the like

Composing and arranging music of all sorts

Playing trombone in jazz and ska/funk bands

Addicted to BBC Radios 4, 3 and the World Service

To contact Marcus by e-mail,

click here

Photo: Ann Kramer