Friday, July 16, 2010

Remembering Sir Charles Mackerras (1925-2010)

The Australian conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras passed away on 15 July 2010. It is a huge loss to the classical music world.

His repertory extended to more than 200 operas, with particular authority in the works of Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Sullivan and Janáček. It was his recording cycle for Decca label of Janáček's cycle, re-evaluated the Moravian composer's legacy and firmly planted him in the canon of the top tier composers for lyric stage, in the same league of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Strauss.

I had the pleasure of attending his performance of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier in San Francisco Opera, pacing Renee Fleming and Susan Graham. He served at San Francisco Opera as principal guest conductor at the time. The pleasure of hearing live will be a long-lasting memory.

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