Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Tommy Tycho, a hugely popular musician on Australian television, was house pianist to the Shah of Iran while fleeing his Hungarian homeland.
Vale this superb arranger and conductor. I had the privilege of appearing with him a few times.
Also vale Enzo Toppano who passed away just a few days before. Another great entertainer. Enzo was 85. I remastered all his 78s from the 1940s and 1950s for him a few years ago. I put them into a podcast tribute here:
Yes, I remember his frequent outstanding appearances as soloist with the Berlin, Cleveland, Pittsburg, Czech, Concertgebouw orchestras. He was indeed one of the greatest pianists of our time, whose name became a house hold name.
Your sarcasm is not necessary. Tommy was a very respected conductor and arranger here and many of us are mourning his loss.
Your performances were with…?
Tommy was a fine arranger and composer, and a true gentleman. When rehearsing a program, he would nearly always play through a piece twice and then leave it. He could do this because he had an excellent understanding of the symphony orchestra, of what works best on each instrument and section. He knew the European canon very well, and cheerfully quoted motives or voicings from a range of composers without reducing the originality of his own work. As a classical musician, I preferred to play “light” music with a professional like Tommy than work with some of the more arrogant but relatively untrained classical conductors. He always had a joke, often self-deprecating, and he was always respectful to the musicians. He will be missed.
Tommy Tycho was a great musician and a wonderful person…the music world has lost a great MAESTRO
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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