A Tribute to Myer Fredman (1932 – 2014)

As this website is entirely devoted to orchestral and opera music, and musicians, I cannot think of a more fitting post for 2014, than this reflection on the life of the late, great British conductor, Myer Fredman.

This is a beautiful video showing the concluding part of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade To Music. The work for 16 soloists and orchestra is an adaptation from Act V, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.  The text is a discussion about music and the ‘music of the spheres’. This footage was captured during 2010 as part of the Australian Shakespeare Festival.  The Festival also included the first, complete, concert performance in Australia of the RVW’s shakespearean opera masterpiece, Sir John in Love.

This was one of Maestro Fredman’s last appearances on the podium.  It so admirably shows this musician’s musician at his finest in the twilight of his career.  The deep care and love for the expression of music as an Art is never more palpably observed than in the maestro’s gestures and the resultant sound from the orchestra.

Myer Fredman studied at the Dartington College of the Arts before being awarded the Eileen Joyce Scholarship to study in London with Vilem Tausky and Peter Gellhorn and later for some special lessons with Sir Adrian Boult. In the early years of his career he assisted the emminent conductors Dr. Otto Klemperer, Maestro Vittorio Gui, Sir Charles Mackerras and Sir John Pritchard. From 1959 to 1974 he worked at the Glyndebourne Festival and from 1961 conducted during every season and was instrumental in creating Glyndebourne Touring Opera (now Glyndebourne on Tour) and appointed it’s initial Music Director. That same period saw him conducting in many European countries, the United States, Canada and Australia and was awarded a medal ‘Per Servizio della Musica e Cultura Italiana’.

This tribute was produced and edited by my very dear friend, Victor Kazan, whose  feature length documentary on the Australian Shakepseare Fesatival is also available to view here.

Season Greetings to all and wishing everyone a joyous and peaceful 2015.


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