Blogs are a somewhat clumsy place to talk about things that really matter, but I want to go on record as wishing a speedy recovery to one of my favorite colleagues, David Gedge, who collapsed tonight during a performance of The Creation in Brecon. I know an awful lot of conductors, famous and not, bad and good, but David is someone whose human qualities represent the best of what a conductor can be.
David has been the conductor of the Gwent Chamber Orchestra and organist at the Brecon Cathedral for many years, and my wife has been a regular collaborator with him since her first year at music college. David’s inspirational leadership and warm humanity has touched the lives of countless choristers during his tenure. He does more than conduct music- time and again he has been a needed mentor or friend to someone for whom the Brecon Cathedral Choir was an all-important refuge. Music can and does change lives, and David’s work has changed and bettered the lives of many, many people. He has built his choir not from the children of the great and the good, but with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, broken homes and profoundly challenging circumstances. Lest I make him out to be a boring, pious do-gooder, I also want to point out that he’s a great guy to go for a beer with- funny, laid-back and wise.
His son was singing in tonight’s concert, and his wife (who has been the assistant organist at the Cathedral all these years) was also there. I can’t begin to imagine how they are feeling tonight. Our thoughts are with them and David, as we hope for a full and speedy recovery.