The spirit of Lyndon Jenkins hovered warmly over this concert given in memory of this much-loved presence at Symphony Hall and Birmingham Town Hall, broadcaster and writer on music (including reviewing for the Birmingham Post).
Back-projected images of Lyndon glowed into a packed auditorium as we heard a range of musicians performing in tribute to him, each one engagingly introduced by Julian Lloyd Webber , himself a long-term associate of his.
Some were performers whom Lyndon had generously mentored over the years: pianists Di Xiao, Rebecca Omordia and Mark Bebbington (soon to make his debut in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall) and violinist Alicja Smietana; others were professional colleagues with whom he had worked: pianist John Lill, making a detour to Birmingham en route for an evening recital in Southampton, soprano Signe Asmussen reflecting Lyndon’s great interest in Danish music, violinist Tasmin Little and accompanist John Lenehan, and cellist Jiaxin Lloyd Webber.
Invidious to select highlights on this special occasion, but Little and Lenehan were memorable in the Legende by Lyndon’s beloved Delius, and Rebecca Omordia delivered hearteningly idiomatic accounts of John Ireland’s Columbine and Scarlet Ceremonies.
There was an illuminating souvenir programme to treasure, and producer Brian Savin assembled an equally illuminating clip of Lyndon’s broadcasting snippets, with a chance to remember his well-honed comfortable BBC tones.
But perhaps the most heartwarming tribute came from Julian Lloyd Webber himself, borrowing on the instant a Birmingham Conservatoire cello and coming out of injury-imposed retirement to join Mrs Lloyd Webber in a Vivaldi double concerto. That was something very special which Lyndon would have loved.