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Souvenir de Kiev 7.12.2013 (not me playing alas!)
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David Conway / Smerus

59(ish) years old, British, born in London, married, piano and sometime bassoon player, three children, five grandchildren, general dilettante.

Graduated from King's College, Cambridge University in 1971: BA in economics and natural sciences (psychology). MA Cambridge (for those who don't know, this is a sort of English joke) 1975.

Married (by Louis Jacobs), to Nadia, who was born in Prague but was brought up in Slovakia. We were amongst the founding members of the New North London Synagogue. We now own a mediaeval house in Levoca, Slovakia, which we are gradually restoring. We also organise an annual international music festival in the town.

Both Nadia and myself were (for too many years) elected local government councillors for a London borough, for the Conservative party which we still both support, sort of. Nadia was Mayor there in 1993-4, almost certainly the first Conservative mayor in the UK to have been a past president of the Slovak Communist Youth Movement. She was awarded the MBE in the 2009 New Year's Honours List, for 'services to the National Health Service and to the community in North London'. She is also a trustee of the charity 'Action for ME', being herself a sufferer from chronic fatigue syndrome.

My employment history has included the London Stock Exchange, the textile industry, and management consultancy.

I divide my time between researching music history (dissertation on the entry of Jews to musical professions in the period 1780-1850, University College London, PhD 2008), lounging about in Slovakia, and working on development aid projects in the former Soviet Union on behalf of the European Commission and DFID. (Recent projects based in Leningrad Oblast, Georgia and Ukraine).

In 1993-6 I was the first Englishman to live in Kaliningrad since the RAF bombed it to pieces in 1944 (when it was still Koenigsberg). From 1998-2000 I was based in Brussels, Belgium, heading an EU project and travelling throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States.

From February 2009 to February 2012 I was based more or less full time in Kiev working on the INOGATE programme. Cambridge University Press published my book Jewry in Music: Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner at the end of 2011. Presently I work for a few months each year with the Eastern Partnership Youth Unit in Kiev.

15 minutes of fame: in 2003 I was a member of the University College London University Challenge team. We got to the quarter-finals, but in the previous round we got the 11th highest score ever made in the programme.

15 minutes of non-entity: in 1992 I won the 'Brain of Enfield' competition.

I was an early contributor to the Find a Grave web-site. Over 2000 of my photos are still up on the site. I am gradually uploading those which are relevant to the appropriate articles in Wikipedia.

Until January 2009 I was a Non-Executive Director of a National Health Service Primary Care Trust in London, and also a Lay Governor of Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication.

I, Joseph, hereby award you this Georgian Golden Fleece Order for the work you have done for the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Keep sailing the Euxeinos Pontos!Sosomk 10:14, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Personal Weblinks

For many excellent contributions related to the people of Russia and Russian and Soviet history, I hereby award you this original barnstar! Enjoy, Irpen

Peace Barnstar 6.png The Barnstar of Diplomatic Exemplitude
I, Coppertwig, award you, Smerus, this Barnstar of Diplomatic Exemplitude for this edit, which I held in mind as an ideal to strive for while writing this edit, which earned me this barnstar.

(Some of the) articles I have created / to which I have made substantial textual contributions

Please do not feed the trolls.
The rule I alas constantly break; must cure myself.

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