League President and CEO Simon Woods recalls conductor Bernard Haitink’s integrity and inspiration in the recording studio

Posted on: November 3, 2021

“Many people have written with great affection about their memories of Bernard Haitink, following his death last week,” writes League President and CEO Simon Woods in a personal remembrance of the conductor in Tuesday’s (11/2) Gramophone (U.K.). Woods began his career as a recording producer at EMI Classics, based at London’s Abbey Road Studios. “I was lucky enough to work with Haitink in my years at EMI Classics as a recording producer in the 1990s, and it gave me some real insights into how he worked…. Haitink made over 450 recordings, including … indispensable recordings of Elgar, Walton, Britten and Vaughan Williams for EMI…. His recordings of the core works of the English repertoire are unforgettable. It was this strand of recording that I was involved in…. The sound he conjured from orchestras miraculously combined firmness, clarity, and luminosity…. He had an outsize influence on me … It always felt like an immense privilege to be in the room with Bernard…. He had deep wisdom, a wry smile (if you could coax it out of him), genuine humility, and complete devotion to achieving the best for the music.”