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Edward Downes

(1924—2009)


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(b Birmingham, 1924; d Zürich, 2009).

Eng. conductor and horn‐player. Cond. first opera, Le nozze di Figaro, while a teacher at Aberdeen Univ. Ass. cond. Carl Rosa Opera 1950–1; staff cond. CG 1951–69. First Eng. cond. after 1945 to conduct full Ring cycle (CG 1967); mus. dir. and chief cond. Australian Opera 1972–6. In 1970s cond. BBC studio perfs., the f. complete ps. in Brit., of Die Feen, Das Liebesverbot, and Rienzi, the first two being their f. complete ps. Prin. cond., BBC Philharmonic 1980–91; prin. cond. CG from 1991. Cond. f.p. of Maxwell Davies's Taverner, 1972, and first opera perf. in Sydney Opera House (War and Peace, 28 Sept. 1973). Completed Prokofiev's Maddalena, conducting f.p. in a BBC broadcast, March 1979. Cond. f. Brit. professional ps. of Verdi's Stiffelio, in his own edn., CG 1993. Trans. Russ. libs., e.g. Khovanshchina and Katerina Izmaylova. CBE 1986. Knighted 1991.

Subjects: Music.


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