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Malcolm Smith

Further to the obituary of Malcolm Smith (11 March), during the interval of Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland's 2006 performance in Cadogan Hall, I found a morose, pessimistic Malcolm reflecting blackly on the decayed state of the London musical world as he knew it, writes Robert Maycock. Not a hint of optimism from anybody listening went unchallenged.

Later, placed diagonally behind him, I watched his reaction when the concert of Mozart concertos ended with a surprising encore, the "Irish Tune from County Derry" arrangement by Percy Grainger. Malcolm sat transfixed, and it was not long before a manly tear appeared – an unguarded moment from a figure whose ebullience had habitually glowed around everybody in or around the profession.