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Jessica Duchen
Thursday 1st April 2010
Farewell, Ole Schmidt

Dririgent Ole Schmidt

 It's a fond farewell to Ole Schmidt, the Danish conductor who has died at the age of 81. He was one of the most colourful characters of his country, from the sound of it, and made waves in the UK by recording all the Nielsen symphonies with the LSO, as well as putting together an 800-strong performance of Havergal Brian's gargantuan Gothic Symphony back in 1980. Here's his obituary in the Daily Telegraph as written by Tim Bullamore, that doyen of this paradoxically dazzling format. Sample:

Schmidt was physically an enormous specimen of a man with a wildly swinging left-hand karate chop of a beat that at times struck terror into the hearts of his front-desk violins. Once, when a young English second violinist with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra came in on the wrong note during rehearsals, Schmidt erupted in fury, hoisting the stool on which he had been perched into the air and lunging forward... 

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April 3rd, 2010
12:04 AM
I will always enjoy his score to Joan of Arc. Astounding music. He will be missed.

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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