Sir Charles Mackerras

Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras, AC, CH, CBE (born 17 November 1925, died 14 July 2010) was an Australian conductor. He was a noted authority on the operas of Janáček and Mozart, and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Family: Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras was born of Australian parents, Alan and Catherine Mackerras, in Schenectady, New York. His father, an electrical engineer, was doing postgraduate work in Schenectady with General Electric. ...show more

Sir Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras, AC, CH, CBE (born 17 November 1925, died 14 July 2010) was an Australian conductor. He was a noted authority on the operas of Janáček and Mozart, and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Family: Alan Charles Maclaurin Mackerras was born of Australian parents, Alan and Catherine Mackerras, in Schenectady, New York. His father, an electrical engineer, was doing postgraduate work in Schenectady with General Electric.

The family moved to Sydney when Charles was aged two. He was the eldest of their seven children, including five brothers, the others being Malcolm, Colin, Alastair and Neil and two sisters, Joan and Elisabeth. They are descendants of the pioneer Australian musician Isaac Nathan. Mackerras attended Sydney Grammar School and The King's School in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney.

He studied oboe, piano and composition at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and eventually became principal oboist of the Sydney Symphony. He settled in England in 1946. He won a British Council Scholarship in 1947, enabling him to study conducting with Václav Talich at the Prague Academy of Music. In 1947, Mackerras married Judy Wilkins, a clarinettist. ...show less