This page last modified:
March 16, 2015 at 10:50 am
Programmer / Bundler
Geoffrey Hayes is devoted to Finland's great composer Jean Sibelius's music. His library contains every Sibelius work ever recorded. It was this passion that brought him to 3MBS 28 years ago. Hearing that a popular presenter in the 1980s, Dr. John McKay, was preparing some programs about Scandinavian music, he wrote to tell him about his Sibelius collection, which could be useful to 3MBS. Dr McKay responded by offering to mentor Geoff and share a new program which became Nordic Sounds. Since then, Geoff has programmed and presented a series on Carl Nielsen, Recent Releases in Concert, A Little Night Music, Thursday Night Concert, Cigars and Spring Water and Illuminations. He is currently taking a break from presenting but continues to volunteer as a music bundler and programmer of Notturno.
Fifteen-year-old Geoff first heard Sibelius while on a holiday with friends at his uncle's house at the Gippsland Lakes. The young people in charge of the turntable played a Buddy Holly LP so often that Uncle Bob removed it and replaced it with a 7-inch 45rpm disc of The Swan of Tuonela and Finlandia to which Geoff was immediately strongly drawn. Not much of a reader till that time, he made straight for the library to devour all he could read about the composer. He claims that Sibelius got him through his final Bachelor of Commerce exams at Melbourne University; so keen was he to graduate in time for a trip to Helsinki for the Sibelius Centenary Festival that he studied extra- hard. That was the first of many journeys to Finland - to several Sibelius Festivals in Lahti and one in Korpo - during and after a 30-year career in the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In 2010, Geoff presented a paper on Sibelius at Oxford University. He has made many good friends who are fellow Sibelius- lovers. Highlights have been meeting Sibelius's niece, then 93 years old, and his grand-daughter who plays her famous forebear's violin.
Geoff played Australian Rules football at school, university and for amateur clubs. He is a keen recreational cyclist and Secretary of the Glenburn Tennis club. He loves the bush and staying with his brother, three sisters and the extended family at their country homes.