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JD: We gather that you're a Music & Vision fan? You found us online and asked for an interview?

HCB: Yes, but I've been reading your publication for years. Absolutely fascinating magazine. My all-time favourite article has to be that one about The Lost Pipers of Iasi!

JD: You mentioned having problems sometimes with members of the audience leaving your concerts during the music?

HCB: Unfortunately, music, in general, is less interesting to listen to than to perform. This is something you'll never get concert promoters to admit, but it's a sad fact. And of course, conducting a concert is much more interesting than playing in one, which is why so many people study conducting these days. But the audience, poor dears, especially when sat at the back of the hall, can have a really rough time of it. Often they fall asleep, or talk to friends on their mobile phones, which bores them, and so they simply leave.

JD: What's the truth behind this press quote about you 'conducting like a dog?'

(Throughout our conversation, Collard-Barker's replies had appeared on my screen pretty instantly, but at this point I noticed a delay. When it became obvious that Sir Henry wasn't going to answer, I asked another question:)

JD: What about your unconventional behaviour on the podium? Is it true that you conduct facing the audience, not the orchestra?

HCB: This is just my little party piece. And in any case, it's fascinating looking at the audience, to see how they respond to particular elements in the music.

JD: Can you be more specific about how you achieve this? Is it really some kind of trick?

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Copyright © 1 April 2006 Jabez Dolotz, Isle of Dogs, London UK


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