What Ashley didn't know — and neither did Mackerras — was that the 80-year-old conductor's daughter, Fiona Janaway, had succumbed to cancer in a London hospice just a few hours before the concert began.
The news of Fiona's passing was kept from Sir Charles until after the performance, according to the Edinburgh newspaper The Scotsman. His wife, Lady Jane, was in London with their daughter at the time.
Mackerras's agent told The Scotsman that the BBC Prom Concert he conducted last Friday (September 8), with the Choir and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performing Mozart's "Haffner" Symphony and Mass in C minor (in Robert Levin's completion), would be dedicated to his daughter's memory. That performance, Prom 72, remains available in streaming audio on demand on the BBC Radio Player at the BBC Radio 3 website, www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/.