Friday, 6 April 2012

Cro meets Stravinsky.


I was privileged to attend a school where the study of music was taken extremely seriously. In about my second year I was introduced to the works of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, and since those days, their work has remained amongst my favourites (although I must admit, I haven't listened to either for quite some while).

In 1966 I was managing an art gallery in London's Devonshire Street, when I received a phone call from my distinguished friend Dr Camille Honig saying 'Don't leave the gallery on any account; I'll be round in about an hour'. I was intrigued.... Dr Honig was the Secretary of The International Martin Buber Society

Knowing Camille well, I imagined he was about to turn-up with some gorgeous model, well known actress, or famous pop star. So, you can imagine my surprise when an hour or so later he walked through the door with Igor Stravinsky.

I was shocked. Camille introduced me, and I genuflected, bowed, and shook his hand (that same hand that wrote The Rite of Spring); I then spent about 10 minutes in his company. I remember very little of our conversation, other than about half way through he changed from speaking English to French; and the fact that I was able to continue without any fuss seemed to impress him..... Thank goodness he didn't break out into Russian!

Stravinsky had been in London to attend the premier of one of his works (I think at The Albert Hall), and was also, at the time, the Honorary President of The International Martin Buber Society (hence his connection with Camille).


My boss at the gallery, Miklos Vilag, had been away for most of the day, and was FURIOUS that he'd not been present to meet with Stravinsky. He later took his anger out on poor Camille by banning him from the gallery (on some silly trumped-up charge of having stolen a bottle of gin).

Camille later dedicated the above flyer to me, using the words 'with un-homosexual love'. I somehow think he wished it was otherwise, but as my Italian girlfriend at the time was one of nature's most exquisite creations; I think he understood.

I am eternally grateful to my dear old friend, Camille. He was kind enough to engineer one of the most memorable days of my life! I continue to thank him.

25 comments:

  1. And here we all are--reading about your delicious adventure. Our connections to all in the world are so much closer than we imagine. Thank you, Cro.

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  2. What exciting days they must have been.

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  3. An occasion to treasure and share. Marvellous

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  4. A most excellent moment - the best landmarks are always people and situations, never buildings or things.

    p.s. Did you ever find out if it's properly pronounced "Aye-gor" or "Eee-gor"?

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  5. I haven't been following your blogs for very long,so was delightfully surprised by this one. It's very different from ponderings on sausages and dogs. This is a wonderful story, which has meant I start today with a big smile on my face. J.

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  6. Good story. See, my depressing post (now gone) produced a good 'n from you... Was your delectable Italian girlfriend the one killed in a plane crash?

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    1. No, she was killed in the earthquake in L'Aquila Italy. My friend who was killed in the 9/11 crash was simply a 'friend'.

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  7. How wonderful and what a story! You have certainly led an exotic life Cro

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  8. I once met Frank Ifield (he of yodelling fame). Not quite in the same league as Stravinsky methinks.

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    1. Maybe, but did Stravinsky ever meet Frank?

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  9. Being at the right place at the right time is what it is all about. What a thrill for you and a gift from your friend that will last a lifetime.

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  10. Homosexually speaking, You're still hot, Cro".

    Was Stravinsky quirky? The few times I've seen him portrayed in movies, he was an odd person.

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    1. I spent so little time in his company that I really couldn't say. He seemed quite normal to me.

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  11. That's a wonderful story. You've met so many interesting people and I am jealous!

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  12. Brillian! Absolute gem of a story...

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  13. Thank you for sharing a part of your life that you treasure with all of us, Mr. M. You are truly blessed with karma.

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  14. Amazing, Cro, and i got goose bumps as i read your blog post! Thank you for telling us about it.

    megan

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  15. What a delicious story. Ya know, I kinda like to think that Stravinsky was just as impressed with meeting YOU.

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  16. how very exciting! That Camille is a good friend -- in a heterosexual kind of way of course. ;-)

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  17. Lovely. Personal stories such as this make blogging so interesting. It is a curious business, how we build up a clear (but possibly not accurate!) idea of someone from what they present. You shape up very well Cro Magnon!

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  18. he looks like tom stephenson cro! x

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  19. Wow. What a wonderful story.

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