Great composer caught in the slips

Great composer caught in the slips


norman lebrecht

July 23, 2011

The Daily Telegraph published a photograph of the Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, enjoying a day of Test cricket at Lords. The imputation was that he should have been managing the fiscal crisis back at the office.

Mervyn King at Lord's, england versus india cricket

What the financial page failed to spot was that one row behind the money men, to the left, was Engliand’s finest composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle,  in a rather fetching lavender tie, and Harry seems to be explaining to the former England captain Mike Brearley, now a psychoanalyst, his advanced theory of swing bowling in overcast conditions. Or maybe the size of the Minotaur’s head in his recent opera. Either way, Brears is gripped.


  • Margaret Aagesen Hughes says:

    Well spotted, Norman. But that tie is so not lavender.

    • Marie Lamb says:

      Agreed, Margaret, on that not being lavender. There’s a whole thing about lavender and related shades here: However, Norman, maybe it looked lavender to you. On this monitor, it looks more like a very light greenish-blue, perhaps in the turquoise or ultramarine families. Perhaps your monitor needs adjusting. To give you some shades to go by, I have links to Wikipedia’s articles on those colors and related shades, complete with color samples. I know from seeing photos of you that you match your wardrobe colors just fine, so I think it’s a monitor problem, not your eyes. (This is what I get from growing up around an artist brother and a mom who knitted, crocheted and did embroidery, plus she sold Avon makeup on the side, LOL!)

  • Just went out into the garden to pick a sprig of lavender – the identical colour! Though, they do say I’m colour blind………….

  • Henry Holland says:

    Dear ENO:

    Instead of awful productions of 19th century Italian works, works that the ROH does better any way, could you *please* spend that money on a revival of “The Mask of Orpheus” or a new production of the brilliant “The Second Mrs. Kong”?

    Yours etc.

  • Kenny says:

    Yes. Well… ahem… spotted, Norman!