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A Conversation With Dame Janet Baker

A Conversation With Dame Janet Baker

Every now and again - but only very rarely - a professional engagement comes along that is so personal, so loaded with treasured associations, that it transcends all normal parameters and takes on a significance all of its own. This was such an occasion.

I first met Dame Janet two years ago on the jury of the Guildhall Gold Medal for singers and somehow or other, despite the pressures of the evening, we managed to find a few quiet moments to reflect on some of my memories of her performing career. She was most gracious (and illuminating - we shared some Leonard Bernstein memories) and afterwards in a one of those pinch-me-is-this really-happening moments I escorted her from the Barbican to the underground (no chauffeured car for her) through that dank tunnel chatting the while about singing and singers, conductors, accompanists, musical styles, trends, you name it.

We met subsequently in a social situation and then word came through from the London Jewish Cultural Centre - where I ha