Piccadilly Circus 12 noon Thursday March 15 2012
I am here in London for one purpose only, to attend the Memorial Concert for Martin Iseep which took place at St James's Piccadilly this afternoon. And a very beautiful affair it was - a low key loving tribute to an extraordinary man in the presence of so many of his friends and family.
The little program sheet had eloquent tributes from his dear colleagues, Janet Baker and John Shirley Quirk, who shared so much with him during their recital tours of the US in the 60s and 70s. Felicity Lott and Paul Austin Kelly sang Schubert, Schumann and Strauss songs all worked so carefully with Martin over the years; George Christie and Bernard Haitink spoke movingly of their respect and affection for a man who had been such a central figure in their lives, as he had been for so many of us there. And Ryland Davies made a characteristic and hilarious cameo appearance as only Ryland can. He also declaimed Shakespeareare's Fear no more the heat of the Sun from Cymbeline with the eloquence and passion of his fellow Welshman Richard Burton.
And Jane Glover drew together music from Martin's beloved Idomeneo - the quartet and the chorus Placido è il mar with four young people from the Royal Academy of Music with whom Martin had worked, and with a chorus drawn from three generations at least of singers who had been at Glyndebourne over the last 50 years.
Our musical family is small but spread widely. On occasions like this we are reminded of our good fortune to have chosen this path.
I will be back in Chicago tomorrow evening.