An Australian conductor recalls conducting the future Master of the Queen’s Music and more.
Julian Day’s article on Malcolm Williamson in this month’s Limelightrekindled many vivid memories of my collaborations with this distinguished composer/performer over the years. In 1967, whilst I was on tour through South Australia with the then South Australian Symphony Orchestra, a message came through that, due to the indisposition of the scheduled conductor, I was needed urgently in Melbourne to record two of Malcolm Williamson’s Piano Concertos, with the composer as soloist.
We duly met some days later, and recorded them with the MSO. Subsequently, their issue on an ABC in-house LP led to those performances being played for many years over ABC and other Fine Music outlets. However, it would be over 10 years before we worked together again as soloist and conductor. In the interim though, we kept in contact periodically, as I frequently programmed his works in concerts and broadcasts.
Our next appearance together was in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1978, when Malcolm and the great English pianist, Dame Moura Lympany, were soloists in his Concerto for Two Pianos. The Finale of this Concerto has some tricky ‘corners’ for orchestra and...