The First Minister sent a condolence letter about Max to me through his agent – in all the things that have been happening it has only just been forwarded.
It would have made him very proud indeed – Ms Sturgeon said Max was “an inspiration throughout his life”- she particularly commented on his pioneering work with children and the sheer energy that led to the founding of the Saint Magnus Festival.
I am thrilled that the Head of Government wrote to us, honoured beyond words. Max was working class from Salford but enjoyed his knighthood and other honours in a way that only a Socialist who had famously been republican could.
He would have enjoyed me seeing this letter on the day of the Queen’s birthday – he loved her sincerely and was thrilled she accepted the dedication of his last major work as a gift to mark her turning 90. It was one of the events that brightened his last few days.
The piece, a children’s opera, called ‘the Hogboon’ will be premiered in London at the Barbican in June. More information can be found here.