Image management isn't such a recent phenomenon after all. In John Bridcut's new documentary about Frederick Delius, marking the 150th anniversary of his birth, an extraordinary history emerges, revealing the degree to which the composer's chief champion manipulated his reputation to make him appear more "British" than he really was. That champion was none other than the celebrated conductor Sir Thomas Beecham.
His interference went well beyond the call of duty. A year after Delius died, Beecham had his body disinterred from its French grave and reburied in a country churchyard in Surrey. So controversial was this that the service was held at midnight to keep the press away.
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