Through his devoted service to both the CBSO and to Symphony Hall (and in a myriad other ways) George Jonas was one of Birmingham's great champions, and Sunday's concert in memory of him and in celebration of his life was a wonderful affirmation of so much that has been achieved through his tireless efforts.
He would have been gratified that all proceeds from this unique occasion were destined for the CBSO's and Symphony Hall's education and community programmes, and that the uniqueness of the evening lay in the fact that the orchestra's two most illustrious conductors, music director Sakari Oramo and his immediate predecessor Sir Simon Rattle, were sharing the podium.
It was surely through Rattle's success in establishing the CBSO on the world stage that Symphony Hall was built, with the consequent regeneration of so much of the city centre. Oramo inherited a prestigious orchestra and moulded it into something even greater, enriching the string sound to the extent that the returning Rattle on Sunday was able to sculpt a gloriously rich, cogently-shaped "Prelude and Liebestod" from Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.
Rattle's interpretation of Elgar's Enigma Variations seems to have gained during his Berlin sojourn a Straussian vehemence, but there was also graciousness here and a heartwarming sense of the players listening to each other.
Oramo's half was firmly rooted in E-flat, beginning with an airy Zauberflote Overture, Mozart's miraculous score teeming with inner detail and lightly-sprung basses.
This crisp, clean orchestral sound also figured in a refreshingly unbrooding, lithe and athletic Sibelius Symphony no.5. This was a perceptively structured reading from Oramo, moving positively towards an affirmative, proud ending.