Remarkable and inspiring

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 August, 1998, 12:00am

I read with sadness your August 11 report of the death of the composer Alfred Schnittke ('Musical greats say farewell to Russian composer Schnittke').

He was certainly a remarkable and inspiring artist.

I had the privilege of meeting him 10 years ago at the Aldeburgh Festival when he was composer-in-residence there.

Already frail even then, he struck me as being a deeply spiritual man who had borne both persecution and ill-health with great dignity and courage. As one of his friends wrote. 'I'll always recall him as a really sweet human being, with a sense of humour that not even an entire succession of strokes . . . had managed to vanquish . . . '.

His gift for melody makes him one of the more accessible of modern composers and I hope that his works will continue to receive the attention which they deserve.