Conducting Tales

  • Posted on: 2 February 2021
  • By: huw

Conducting Tales

Caroline Franks, RCS soprano and treasurer, writes....

The only ‘story’ I know, which may well be apocryphal, is about Otto Klemperer, when he was in Newcastle, conducting some concert many years ago. He stayed at the Gosforth Park Hotel, at that time the most prestigious hotel in the north east.

During dinner, there was a pianist playing live in the restaurant. He sent a message via one of the waiters, to ask if he would play requests. The pianist, deeply honoured, replied that he would, of course. The request was that he play dominoes while the great man had his dinner in peace. It’s still one of my Dad’s favourites.

Chris Lee, RCS tenor, responds....

My mum had a crush on Sir Malcolm Sargent (apparently, she wasn’t the only one...)

He conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra when she sang with the Welsh Choral Union and he signed her autograph book adding ‘Life if not a joyride, it is a try-out’. I’m still not quite sure what it means.
A more 'quotable quote' comes from Sir Malcolm who, when asked “To what do you attribute your advanced age?” answered “Well, I suppose I must attribute it to the fact that I have not died.”