RIP, Sir Colin Davis. He was too urbane to be widely considered a maverick, but his unorthodoxy is precisely what led to his particular interests and particular strengths, and to his championing some composers who occupy their own slightly offbeat niches in the mainstream classical music canon: Berlioz, Sibelius, Tippett. But he was also a consummate Mozartean. My obituary for the Washington Post is here, but of necessity does not include personal reminiscences of the concerts I heard him lead with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra during the years I lived in in Munich. Nor did I mention the afternoon in Würzburg, when I was sitting with friends in the Bavarian Radio Chorus in a cafe after a rehearsal and Sir Colin and his wife passed by, began chatting, and ended up hanging out for a couple of hours - an encounter from which I concluded that they were among those celebrities, like Yo-Yo Ma, who are just the same when you meet them in person as they appear in public.
Above: Sir Colin Davis conducts the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and Chorus in the Mozart Requiem in Munich’s Herkulessaal.