In 2010, when the ash cloud crippled European air traffic for a few days after the eruption of the Barbarbunga volcano in Iceland, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski was packing his bags in Poznan, Poland for a brief visit to his old band, The Hallé, in Manchester.
When he learned of the ash cloud grounding his flight he decided quickly. He hired a taxi and two drivers. 800 miles and 24 hours later he arrived in Manchester exhausted but exhilarated to be with The Hallé again.
He was 87 at the time.
On Tuesday he returns to Manchester to conduct Brahms 4th Symphony, Schumann cello concerto with our own Nicholas Trygstad and Weber’s Der Freischütz overture.
As we have become accustomed to, he will greet the orchestra enthusiastically, looking around the band for familiar faces.
Then he will explain that “this right eye is not so good these days” and “this left eye is almost blind”. Followed by “my dear friends, it’s so good to see you!”
Rehearsals will be on the short side and communication difficult at times.
Yet, once he picks up the baton the conversation will take care of itsself, through music.
The band calls him ’Stan the Man’, affectionately.
It is with awe and respect that we welcome him to Manchester again.
Thank you for reading!