BBC Music Magazine



James Levine Born 1943 Conductor

After Leonard Bernstein’s death in 1990, James Levine was very much next in line as America’s top conductor. He even went on to secure the job that had eluded Bernstein, that of music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra – the first American to do so. His seven years with the BSO were nothing compared to the 40 he spent as music director of the New York Met. Born into a musical family in Cincinnati, Levine began his musical life at the piano – he studied with Rudolf Serkin at one time. Graduation from the Juilliard, where he studied conducting with Jean Morel, led to an apprentice­ship with George Szell in Cleveland. In 1973 he became music director of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, remaining so for 20 years. A prominent guest conductor on both sides of the Atlantic and a champion of music education, his later career was blighted by ill health and ultimately ended in controvers­y. Chris Barber Born 1930 Bandleader and trombonist

Barber was 18 when he bought a second-hand trombone. A year later he had formed his first band, which would go through any number of iterations over the next 70 years. Musical friends and collaborat­ors came and went, but one thing remained: Barber’s own charisma, intelligen­ce and boyish excitement in making music. His passion for jazz was fervent, but not restrictiv­e; indeed, Barber’s approach was open-minded and took in everything from traditiona­l to 20th-century jazz, pop, rock and much besides. Such accessibil­ity won him a large fanbase in the UK, Europe and the US, where he toured regularly until his retirement in 2019.

Anna Shuttlewor­th Born 1927 Cellist

Cellists Natalie Clein, Jonathan del Mar, Adrian Brendel and many others have one thing in common: they were taught by Anna Shuttlewor­th. As a professor of cello at the Royal College of Music, Shuttlewor­th worked with many of today’s notable musicians. She herself attended the college and spent time in Europe studying with Enrico Mainardi and Pablo Casals. She also founded the Vivien Hand String Quartet and regularly appeared in BBC broadcasts.

Also remembered…

Yuval Waldman (born 1946) was a violinist and conductor whose studies (encouraged by Isaac Stern) took him from Israel to the US, where he settled. He was passionate about building cultural bridges with music and championin­g works composed in times of oppression. French soprano Renée Doria (born 1921) made her debut in a Marseille production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in the early 1940s. Her celebrated career would see her take on some 60 roles on European stages, as well as a number of recordings.

 ??  ?? Met major: James Levine in 2013
Met major: James Levine in 2013

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