I'm sure that most of the blogging world will be discussing the death of Luciano Pavarotti, who died this morning, at the age of 71. You can read Malcolm Moore's report here.
It's sad when anyone dies, but characters as big as Pavarotti, in every sense of the word, don't happen too often.
His popularity has introduced many thousands of people to the area of classical music, and more specifically, opera, which is an achievement in itself.
Amongst musicians there was always an element of 'fear' when chosen to perform with him, as he had very clear ideas of what he wanted to hear. However there was also a huge pride at being offered that role.
This happened twice to Robin, although the second performance was cancelled due to Pavarotti's failing health.
Robin sat very near to him and felt his presence was even more powerful in person than he anticipated.
Pavarotti never spoke to the musicians directly, it was always done through the conductor, (despite his large voice he was very quietly spoken), but Robin could hear everything he said.
Believe me, Robin was very keen to give a note perfect performance and interpretation, for fear of the wrath of the great man.
It went well though and Robin was fine, unlike some of the orchestral members....
In the last few days of his life the Italian government awarded him a prize to recognise his achievements, shortly after La Scala announced a new Luciano Pavarotti award.
Pavarotti is said to have been "happy at the recognition", and it was nice for him to hear about these awards, instead of them being issued after his death. I do hope he took them as acknowledgments of his achievements and not notification of his moribund state.
Pavarotti was passionate about life and passionate about his music and will be greatly missed.
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman