"Gerard Hoffnung was born in Berlin in 1925 and went to London in 1939 as a schoolboy refugee. Although he died at the early age of 34 years, he achieved in his short life enough to fill a whole series of lifetimes. Artist, teacher, cartoonist, caricaturist, musician and tuba player, broadcaster and raconteur, a much sought after speaker at the Oxford and Cambridge Unions and prison visitor, a Quaker - these were all facets of a creative personality.
In 1956 his talents combined when Hoffnung devised a concert of hilarious symphonic caricature at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Foremost composers were commissioned to write some of their wittiest and most humorous compositions, while conductors, soloists and artists submitted whole-heartedly to the unprecendented demands made upon them. Throughout the years since those performances nearly forty years ago, internationally famous orchestras have delighted in presenting gems from the Hoffnung repertoire to packed audiences. Since then, uninhibited laughter has constantly echoed as visitors file through exhibitions of the hundreds and hundreds of ingenious and absurd ideas, mostly on a musical theme, that Hoffnung illustrated with such superb artistry. His work offers no barrier to age, race or background. Success was immediate and has endured."