‘Sir Colin Davis with Love’
The BBC produced a moving tribute to Sir Colin Davis, with two programmes, the first showing him conducting part of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the LSO in 2011, followed by an interview with John Bridcut, made shortly before Sir Colin died.
For anyone who knew Sir Colin, and anyone interested in conducting, this is a programme to watch and is still available on iPlayer until 10 May ’13 :
Sir Colin was touchingly frank about his life, his conducting and his thoughts about dying. The programme mentioned how he was ‘almost self-taught’ as a conductor and how, as a young man in the 1960’s, he was fierily passionate when conducting. As an Alexander Teacher, I was pleased to hear Sir Colin recounting how the eminent conductor Sir Adrian Boult came to speak to him after an orchestral performance and gave him some valuable advice about the way he had been conducting – ‘My dear boy, you’ll be a cripple if you go on like that! You must go and see Dr. Barlow’ ( Dr Wilfred Barlow trained as a teacher with FM Alexander and taught near the Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music, and musicians were amongst his many pupils ) – and that was how Sir Colin ‘started my acquaintance with the Alexander Technique’.
The AT became an important part of Sir Colin’s life, with both he and his wife Shamsi (an Alexander teacher) supporting the Royal Academy of Music Alexander Technique fund for many years and they were both patrons of the Friends of the Alexander Technique charity.
If you read the comment on this entry by Robert Rickover, you can follow the link to hear an extended, philosophical and fascinating interview with Sir Colin Davis (and this will be available for a long time ).