WORLD renowned Australian conductor Sir Charles Mackerras has died in London at the age of 84.
Born in New York to Australian parents in 1925, he was raised in Australia and studied oboe and piano at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music and later received career assistance under the mentorship of Eugene Goosens.
Mackerras showed great promise and became a pioneer of the authenticity movement in music, playing period pieces on authentic instruments with original arrangements.
He later went overseas to study in England where he made his name as a conductor, becoming conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in 1954 before moving on to posts with many other orchestras across Europe and in the US.
He was invited back to Australian on numerous occasions including as conductor of the Sydney Symphony at the opening ceremonies for the Sydney Opera House in 1973. A statement from the Sydney Symphony Managing Director Rory Jeffes said, "The connection between Sir Charles and the Sydney Symphony has run deep for over 60 years.
"He was a man of great musical scholarship, talent and energy. We are all deeply saddened to have lost such an eminent conductor and a special part of the Sydney Symphony family.
"Our thoughts are with Sir Charles' loved ones at this time."
The Daily Telegraph July 15, 2010 2:13PM