20 Nov 2005
Mastered Mozart, Preached Janacek, Schmoozed Shostakovich
By MICHAEL WHITE [NY Times, 20 November 2005]
ASKED to imagine how we might spend our 80th birthday, most of us would say: taking it easy. But conductors tend to be of tougher mettle. Pierre Boulez turned 80 this year with scarcely a change in his working schedule. And on Thursday evening, if all went as planned at press time, Charles Mackerras did the same, marking the event by slipping quietly into the pit of the Royal Opera House as he has done countless times during the last half-century, to conduct a revival; in this case, Verdi's "Ballo in Maschera."