Tribute paid to a grand old knight of classical music

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The Independent Online
Lady Solti and her two daughters outside Westminster Abbey yesterday after a tribute to the conductor Sir Georg Solti, who died last year.

As the hymns began, those of us without perfect pitch felt in an embarrassed minority, with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sarah Walker and other divas scattered around the congregation, writes David Lister. The Prince of Wales was there to hear Dame Kiri sing a Richard Strauss aria as musicians played some of Sir Georg's favourite pieces.

His heritage was evident from the eclecticism of the service. Rabbi David Goldberg, of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, read from Genesis: Sir Georg was Jewish, though sceptical of organised religion. In his address, the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr, said Sir Georg, "though speculative about religion himself, has enabled so many to draw closer in an encounter with the transcendent majesty that is God". Sir Georg was "one of the most distinguished ... musicians of this century".

Photograph: Nicola Kurtz