David Crighton Memorial Concert

David Crighton in 1997

aka David Crighton Benefit Concert

All the CDs of the original 1500 pressed now seem to have found good homes. Johanna Crighton and I and everyone else concerned were grateful to our many friends and colleagues who helped to spread the word, and to the Cambridge University Press and the American Physical Society for valuable publicity. Before Johanna passed away three years ago she graciously gave permission for the audio files to be made available here, and I hope to do this soon.

As many who read this will know, David Crighton was a visionary leader and promoter of talent as well as a brilliant researcher in his own right. He was my Head of Department before cancer took him from us in April 2000. He was one of the key figures in the establishment of the new Cambridge Centre for Mathematical Sciences and the Millennium Mathematics Project and worked in many other ways for science and its public understanding. The concert was held on 18 May 2001 at Johanna Crighton's initiative, to celebrate David's life and to help with fundraising in his memory. Because mathematics and music were equally special for David, Johanna's memorial effort is in aid of young mathematicians and young musicians.

The memorial CDs are beautiful recordings of some of the most glorious classical music ever written, receiving a high-powered, passionately committed performance by artists who knew David personally, making it a very special occasion. The recording, using state-of-the-art digital technology, captures the spirit of the occasion and includes a few extempore words from Johanna at the close. Here are two brief audio clips in the form of .mp3 files, this one (243 Kbyte) from the scherzo and this one (640 Kbyte) from the wonderful slow movement of the Schubert B flat trio.

The concert was held in the Cambridge West Road Concert Hall. The artists were Ruth McIntyre (piano), Vivian Williams (cello), and Michael McIntyre (violin), and the programme consisted of the Haydn A major, Schubert B flat, and Dvorak F minor trios -- plus an encore given after nearly two-and-a-half minutes of applause: the deeply-felt third movement from Schumann's Märchenerzählungen op. 132 -- all of it great music resonating with David's spirit in many ways, speaking of his joy in the face of adversity, of his love of his fellow humans, and of his radiant optimism for the future. More details below.

Anyone wanting to snap up one of the remaining CD sets is welcome to contact me personally.

We'd all like to thank the Cambridge University Press Bookshop very warmly for their generosity in providing credit-card facilities during the first year -- helping sets of Crighton CDs to find good homes among so many appreciative friends and colleagues all over the globe.

More about David Crighton and about the music performed can be found in these printer's proofs (.pdf files for Acrobat Version 3) of the CD cover booklet (79Kbyte), based on the programme printed for the concert, and of the back inlay panel (12Kbyte) for the 2-CD set. In case Acrobat gives trouble, .html versions of the key items are appended here:

David Crighton's name has become widely regarded as synonymous with all that's best in human nature, and in human achievement. He was a brilliant achiever himself, and he made enormous and courageous efforts to encourage others to `go for it' too -- to do their very best, whether in mathematics, in music, or in any other life-enhancing activity. He was a visionary leader as Master of Jesus College and as Head of the University's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He was the recipient of many of the highest national and international honours, and was about to receive a special honour from the Queen when death tragically overtook him. He was a wise, shrewd, and tactful administrator of world-class establishments whose lifeblood is the recruitment and inspiration of talented people. In the last year of his life, under a death sentence, he showed the awesome courage, affirmative spirit, and radiant optimism for the future that is now becoming a legend -- carrying his full administrative responsibilities until the very last moment, just down the corridor from me.

Music in many genres, including opera, was always something special for David Crighton. This concert celebrated his life, along with the lives of three great composers that resonate with David's in different ways.

The concert began with a short trio by Joseph Haydn. For many years `Papa Haydn' was the much-loved enabling force, the tactful organizer, the recruiter of talent, the man of prodigious energy and creativity behind a world-class musical enterprise at Eszterhaza. The first of this Trio's two movements vividly recalls the high spirit of opera.

Franz Schubert wrote his great B flat Trio whilst also under a death sentence. This is radiant, optimistic music, with tragedy held at bay, not least in the gentle and loving slow movement.

Antonin Dvorak's mighty F minor Trio spans an enormous emotional range, and is considered by some authorities to be his greatest chamber work. After an ominous and stormy beginning it tells a story of light overcoming darkness.

--- MEM


Opening words (MEM)

H A Y D N       Piano Trio in A major (1785), Hob. XV:9

S C H U B E R T       Piano Trio in Bb major (1825-7), D. 898

(applause, on a separate track)


D V O R A K       Piano Trio in F minor (1882), Op. 65

(applause, on a separate track)

Announcement (MEM)


S C H U M A N N       from Märchenerzählungen, Op. 132 (1853)

3rd movement: Ruhiges Tempo, mit zartem Ausdruck

A few words, extempore, from Johanna Crighton

This page is at http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/mem/crighton.html

Here, in case you're interested, is a bit more about how I got involved, including a reference to the inner game of music and the art of the pianist Tatiana Nikolaeva, a huge influence on me personally -- the direct result of an initiative by David and Johanna Crighton, who brought Nikolaeva to Cambridge for some astonishing and inspired performances in the very same West Road Concert Hall.

Back to my home page, http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/mem/

Michael Edgeworth McIntyre (mem at damtp.cam.ac.uk), DAMTP, University of Cambridge, Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EW

Last updated 8 January 2019
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