Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Encounter: George Hurst

George was a well-known conductor in England until his death a few years ago. He came from a family of Romanian Jews, who had changed their last name to the very English "Hurst". When he came to Port Regis, he impressed us immediately by his facile musical ability. If he heard a tune, he could usually identify it and preform it on the piano. Many years ago, shortly before I left for California in 1957, George stayed with my first wife and me when he came to conduct the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. I remember playing a scrap of music, and asking him if he could identify it. He did so immediately. He spent some time conducting the Bournemouth Light Symphony, and then the BBC Northern Orchestra. What I remember best about George is his modesty even though he had become quite famous in his twenties.

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