Music lovers all over the world will join in sadness at the news of the death of conductor Colin Davis. Sir Colin passed away on Sunday evening, 14th April, at the age of 85, after an illness. He will be remembered for his long association with the London Symphony Orchestra, which began in 1959, and for his acclaimed interpretations (among others) of Mozart, Elgar, Sibelius, and Berlioz. He also will be noted for his extensive discography, including a ground-breaking and still controversial 1966 Philips recording of Handel’s Messiah, reference versions of Sibelius symphonies with the Boston Symphony, operas by Berlioz and Britten, and Haydn and Beethoven symphony collections, from the Concertgebouw and Dresden respectively. Personally, I can only say that in the couple of hours I spent with him in an interview in the 1980s, I found him to be among the most personable, gracious, and kind of the many big-name artists of that period. A gentleman, quiet and centered, a musician who not only cared immensely for his craft, but who was respectful and humble regarding his role as a facilitator, not the creator, of the work at hand.
Colin Davis, 1927-2013
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