The Australian papers are reporting the death of Charles Mackerras, one of the most keenly musical conductors of our time. He had a gift for leading a kind of performance in which nothing out of the ordinary seems to happen and yet everything goes radiantly right. I remember his 1993 Rosenkavalier in San Francisco, with Felicity Lott as the Marschallin and Frederica von Stade as Octavian, as one of those perfect nights. He leaves behind a pile of great recordings: the masterly Janáček operas, the finest modern Idomeneo, vibrant Mozart and Brahms symphonies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, a dozen others. It will be a very sad First Night of the Proms on Friday.
Update: A Guardian obituary by the late Alan Blyth.