A Cunning Blog

Long words. Short words. Words that say something.

“An absolutely brilliant boy”

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The Sydney Symphony’s first Australian-born chief conductor came from the ranks. “Charlie”, as all his friends and colleagues knew him, was principal oboe and a very ambitious young man who wanted to be a conductor. Linda Vogt remembers him as a brilliant 17-year-old with red hair. “He was always agitating at the ABC to give him a chance. Charlie got up on the rostrum and chose to conduct Portsmouth Point by William Walton. He staggered us. His knowledge of the score and technique were brilliant. The orchestra was absolutely confounded.”

Sir Charles Mackerras was the first Australian Chief Conductor of Sydney Symphony. He stayed for just three years, but continued to visit regularly right up until 2007.

Vale, optimus.

Author: harryfiddler

Harriet Cunningham – aka @harryfiddler — is a freelance writer based in Sydney. Harriet wrote her first novel, about a runaway cat, at the age of 7. In the forty year gap between novel 1 and novel 2 she moved from London to Edinburgh to Sydney, ran an opera company, played violin on the opera house stage and sailed from Gove to Darwin. She is now a music critic and writer, best known as the critic who got banned by Opera Australia. She still hangs out at the Sydney Opera House, is still trying to get that novel published, and still plays the violin.

One thought on ““An absolutely brilliant boy”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention “An absolutely brilliant boy” « A Cunning Blog -- Topsy.com

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