An Austrian, born in 1908, Herbert Von Karajan had particular contracts with Salzburg and Vienna, and his career included controversial musical directorships in Ulm and Aachen. Von Karajan was the mastermind behind one of the greatest European orchestras of his age: the Berlin Philharmonic. He worked with many of the finest artists of his time and pioneered the huge international business of recordings. He died in 1989, "the conductor's conductor".
Richard Osborne is one of Britain's best known and most widely respected writers and broadcasters on classical music. Born in 1943 in the East Riding of Yorkshire, he read English at Bristol University. He taught for a number of years, began broadcasting for BBC Radio 3 in 1969, and joined the review panel of Gramophone in 1974. His Rossini (1985) was widely acclaimed for its readability and scholarship and is now regarded as the standard work on the subject. In 1989, he published Conversations with Karajan. He is married, with one son, and lives in Berkshire.