excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (186 words)

excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (186 words)

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Southbank Centre Archive

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In 1951, we managed to get 2 tickets at 2/6 each for one of the opening concerts at the Festival Hall.  The seats were on the platform behind the orchestra.  The conductor was Sir Adrian Boult, the violin soloist Yfrah Neaman.  The orchestra was seated resplendant in tails and everyone was awaiting the arrival of the celebrated conductor.  The minutes ticked away, the audience became slightly restive, but no Sir Adrian.  Then, with a flourish, about ten minutes later, he burst in upon the scene, dressed - horror of horrors - in a grey pinstripe lounge suit.  He mounted the podium, faced the audience, and said "You may wonder why I am dressed as I am.  I should like to tell you a story about an American invited to the Lord Mayor's Banquet, who after a delayed Atlantic crossing arrived at Southampton to find his luggage had been lost.  He made his way to London, but when he contacted a well known firm of Covent Garden Outfitters, found that all the other guests had been there before him."  And with that, he turned around and started conducting.  What aplomb!

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excerpt from 'Southbank Centre Archive' (186 words)


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