Maxim Blacher

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Symphony conductor of an unnamed orchestra who conducts the Berg Violin Concerto on Mars, in the science fiction short story "The Music Makers" by Langdon Jones, first published in the magazine New Worlds vol.49, no.156 (November 1965). He's friends with his violinist, David.

Another character compares him favorably to real conductor Colin Davis.

There was Blacher, fat and sweaty, wiping his face with his handkerchief. At rehearsals he realised that Blacher really felt this work, perhaps more than any other, but tonight had been something special. The conductor had been possessed ; had possessed. What had taken place tonight must have been what tortured Berg heard as he spent his life’s last energy in pouring out the passionate memorial. Manon — gone! Gone!

He shook Blacher’s hand warmly. “When I was a boy,” he said, speaking easily above the applause, “I heard Colin Davis conduct this work. If he had heard this, he would never have touched the Berg again.”

“It wasn’t just me,” said Blacher in a voice that sounded almost shaky, “it was them,” (indicating the orchestra) “it was you, it was — everything. Perhaps it was even that.” He pointed towards one of the high windows. The two men looked up, oblivious of the dying applause and regarded the deep blue of the Martian sky. Blacher spoke again. “That’s what gave us our — shall I say — inspiration? Out there we are nearer the infinite than normal men have ever been before.”

The applause was becoming more and more strained, and the two men collected themselves and quickly walked off the stage. Backstage, they peered out at the audience. “Look at them,” hissed Blacher. “They have no idea. As far as they’re concerned they’ve just heard yet another performance of a standard work. Peasants! Fools!”

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