On sleeping out all night for SSO tickets and what hearing the
Eroicaon period instruments taught me about acting.
I find it hard to describe what music means to me in any meaningful way. All I know is that at a time in my life when memory is becoming, at best, wishful thinking and often fiction, I have very vivid and accurate recall of events to do with music. This seems to indicate that some profound and totally satisfying experience has imprinted itself on my consciousness in a way that most other things haven’t. I guess that’s what music means to me.
It began in 1959 when a group of friends at Sydney University, appalled at my lack of musical sophistication, dragged me along to a Sydney Symphony concert at the Town Hall to hear Lorin Maazel conduct Schubert and Mahler. We sat in the organ gallery directly behind the timpanist, so we heard everything backwards, but I was immediately enthralled and hooked for life – not just by the music itself, but the physical power of a big orchestra in full cry under passionate direction.
The next thing I knew I was queuing in Pitt Street all night...