Claudio Desderi 1943-2018

Remembering Claudio Desderi 1943-2018

The great Italian baritone, conductor and teacher, Claudio Desderi, passed away in Florence on Saturday 30 June. I was fortunate to have known him for nearly 30 years, and to have seen his masterly interpretations of Falstaff and Leporello. I will never forget my first experience of watching his inspirational master classes at the Scuola di Musica in Fiesole, preparing young Italian singers for the Mozart-Da Ponte Project. At that time I was working at the Britten-Pears School and we invited the whole company to Snape to perform the three operas; the cast included Patricia Ciofi, Umberto Chiummo and Maria Costanza Nocentini. This was the beginning of a long friendship and many happy times in his company. I feel privileged in recent years to have represented him for master classes and to have seen his continued dedication to young singers perfecting their craft. JOHN OWEN

Saleem Khan