Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras dies at 84

The Associated Press: Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras dies at 84.

I had the enviable opportunity to work as a soloist with Sir Charles in 1990. He guest conducted the Columbus Symphony during the week I had been engaged to play the Mozart Clarinet Concerto.

I remember, it was in January, the same weekend as my birthday.

I couldn't imagine a more elegant an tasteful conductor to work with. After the first performance, I asked him, "Do you think we should take the slow movement a bit faster?" He agreed wholeheartedly, saying it would be more flowing, and appropriate to the music.

We performed the Concerto three times, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was my birthday.

To celebrate the event in my own way, I added a few extra ornamental flourishes to the piece. He smiled.

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