Last night at home we were talking about George Prêtre, the great French conductor and how he was a favourite with the Vienna Philarmonic Orchestra. This morning I discovered he had died last night at the age of 92 at his chateau de Vaudricourt à Naves near Castres in France. The XXth Century gave us some very great conductors, to me they are people who do not beat time but feel the music and try to get the orchestra to share in that feeling and show the melodic nuance in a composition. This is not easily achieved and few can do it, he certainly could.
He will conduct the premier of Francis Poulenc, La Voix Humaine in 1959. He will also work with Maria Callas for many years. He will conduct during his long career all the great orchestras of the world. He became a favourite conductor in Vienna. He had style and pleased the public, a man of great intelligence and an athlete who practiced judo and karate. He once said, with a sly smile, that as Conductor he never had to use it on any of his musicians.
Maestro George Prêtre 1924-2017