People: Personality

EDINBURGH'S sixth annual festival opened last fortnight (see Music) with a speech by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. But the festivities really got under way when a violent little man with a spiky beard raised his baton over the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and brought it down on the first beat of Sibelius' Symphony No. 7 in C Major. Sir Thomas Beecham, Bart, was on the podium, where he belonged.

There is something more than poetic justice in the fact that for 50 years English schoolchildren have gleefully sung

Hark, the herald angels sing,

Beecham's Pills are just the thing,

for it is on...

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