From now until the celebrations of the SWF’s fiftieth anniversary, we shall post memories of ‘former greats’ of the association.
1969: Inauguration of the SWF in Bordeaux
Presentation by M. Léon, deputy to the then mayor Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Not a single name pronounced correctly. So:
founder members: J.P. Brenchenmüècher instead of Brechenmacher, Henri-Jean Cestas instead of Testas, and inevitably Sam Abraham instead of Sami Habra.
Next came the reading of the list of honorary members, in alphabetic order:
Karl Bohême for Karl Boehm; Pierre Boulet for Pierre Boulez; Germaine Lupin (grand-daughter of the fictional detective Arsène?) for Lubin; Quel Empereur for Otto Klemperer, and so on and so on. When it came to Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, everyone was waiting with a broad smile to see how M. Léon would manage that tongue-twister, but the joke was in fact on all of us, as the presenter concluded his list by declaring astutely: “as well as many other famous musicians”!
This remark was greeted by a huge burst of laughter that surprised the presenter.