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The death last week of the Swiss conductor Paul Sacher at 93 brings to an end a lifetime of enthusiasm for supporting 20th century music. For both his chamber orchestras in Basle and Zurich he commissioned leading composers and thereby endowed the 20th century with some exceptionally fine music. One can say that a man who by the fortunes of marriage inherited one, can easily become philanthropic. His dedication to music was the greater, and composers such as Stravinsky, Bartok, Hindemith, Britten, Strauss, Martinu, Tippett, Henze, give a glimpse of his care to encourage composers whose creative talent was unreservedly of superior quality.

His care for opera is less known. Paul Sacher conducted Mozart at Glyndebourne - Figaro, Magic Flute - and The Rake's Progress. In the early thirties he revived Mozart's Idomeneo in Basle.