Charles Mackerras was born on 17 November 1925 in Australia. Prior to his varied career as a conductor, he was principal oboe in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra before he came to England in 1946. Since then his reputation has spread worldwide for both operatic and orchestral conducting. He directed the first English performance of Leos Janácek's Katya Kabanova, and followed this with several others, undoubtedly assisting the emergence of Janácek's music from the shadows.
in 1980 he became the first non-British conductor to lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the Last Night of the Proms.
Mackerras died of cancer in London on 14 July 2010, aged 84.
A selection of M&V articles about Charles Mackerras
CD Spotlight. Boldly Decisive - Hideko Udagawa plays Brahms and Bruch, heard by Howard Smith. '... a firmly nourished tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Distinctive Skillfulness - Musical stories for narrator and orchestra, heard by Howard Smith. 'Prokofiev, Britten and Dukas slot together to vivid effect.'
CD Spotlight. Pure Welsh Magic - Richard Lewis, the great tenor, heard by Alice McVeigh. '... beg, borrow or steal.'
Ensemble. Deft Stagecraft and Virtuosity - Bloch and Israeli Music, heard by Malcolm Miller
Ask Alice - On the three weaknesses of Charles Mackerras, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A Particular Pleasure - Christine Brewer sings Wagner, enjoyed by Robert Hugill
CD Spotlight. Utterly Absorbing - A sampler from Cedille Records, enjoyed by Howard Smith. '... top quality standards.'
DVD Spotlight. Extreme Individuality - A film about Delius, seen by Paul Sarcich. '... a commendable breadth.'
Highly Articulate - American dramatic soprano Christine Brewer talks to Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
DVD Spotlight. Superlative Music - Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', reviewed by Robert Anderson. '... the flames are formidable ...'
A Labour of Love - John Suchet's 'The Treasures of Beethoven', read by Howard Smith
Ensemble. Stunning Precision - Janácek's 'Jenufa' in LA, reviewed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Passion and Commitment - English National Opera's 'Jenufa', appreciated by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Strengths and weaknesses - Rex Harley listens to 'Jenufa' at Welsh National Opera
Ensemble - Profoundly life-enhancing. Rex Harley experiences Janácek's 'The Cunning Little Vixen' in the current Welsh National Opera revival, on 24 May 2002 at Cardiff New Theatre, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras
Mozart to savour - Alfred Brendel, Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival, by Malcolm Miller