Sir Jeffrey Tate (28 April 1943 to 2 June 2017) will be greatly missed. He died of a heart attack in Italy, after a lifetime dedicated to great music.
Initially mentored by the ‘Screaming Skull’ (Georg Solti), he overcame profound disabilities to become one of the great modern conductors, appearing at Covent Garden and the New York Met, among others. He was principal conductor at Covent Garden, English Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, San Carlo Theatre in Naples, and the Hamburg and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras.
It was whilst he was in Adelaide that he conducted the first Australian Ring Cycle (1998) and he recently returned to Adelaide, in a short stint as Principal Guest Conductor, in which role The Varnished Culture was lucky to see him in action. He once said “If people had told me that I would have the stamina to conduct ‘Ring Cycles,’ I would have been amazed. I still am.” Farewell Sir Jeffrey.