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More tributes to Charles Mackerras

The BBC will dedicate a Proms concert in his memory. Glyndebourne, where he conducted Cosi fan tutte only last month, will commemorate him tonight. Sir George Christie, past director of Glyndebourne, said: 'The passion he brought to his performances - which he tempered with scholarly research - combined with his devotion to and belief in the composers whose works were entrusted to him and his baton set him apart from the others. He never imposed himself between the audience and the composer and … [Read more...]

He achieved beyond the dreams of great conductors

Sir Charles Mackerras, who has died aged 84, was a nice man and near-neighbour. We would exchange a sunny wave and an occasional chat on morning walks along Hamilton Terrace. Never an assertive personality, Charlie was often underrated by orchestral musicians and had a wretched time as chief conductor of English National Opera in the 1970s. But the musical results spoke for themselves. His achievements, in my view, are twofold. He was the first, after Neville Marriner, to seek … [Read more...]

Four go copycatting

Just in case you thought that British television was dying of an excess of originality, the independent company Channel 4 News has copied the BBC in appointing a culture editor, as distinct from an arts corespondent to upgrade its creative profile. Where the BBC replaced the excellent Razia Iqbal with the flailing Will Gompertz, C4 have introduced an arts filmmaker from Melvyn Bragg's disbanded South Bank Show team. Matthew Cain has a nose for a story and the skill to turn it around. … [Read more...]

Chernobyl kids embraced by UK orchestra

Kirill Karabits, the go-ahead young conductor in Bournemouth, is welcoming survivors of the Chernobyl disaster, close to his Ukrainian home town, to his forthcoming concerts. Shocking as it is to hear that a new generation of children is being treated for the aftereffects of Soviet negligence 24 years ago, it is warming to know that they are not forgotten. Details in the press release, below; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra hosts Chernobyl children at free schools concert Over … [Read more...]

Music and Beyond

Ottawa's new summer festival, titled above, opened with an octogenarian pianist who put us all to shame, a string quartet at the peak of its powers, a big soprano on the comeback trail and this hardworking writer in keynote lectures on three successive days. If you want to know what really happened, go to the Emerson Quartet's lively blog. Here's a sample: Finding dinner proved an enormous challenge as nothing was … [Read more...]

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