“I think I first met Bayan through Hans Keller, which means it must have been around 40 years ago. He was terrific company, not in the sense that he’d have the whole table roaring and laughing, but you knew that in post-concert drinks with him your brain would get a good work-out. He was also sympathy itself: if anyone had been ailing, his concern was open and sincere. And although he had firm views on music as on other subjects, in all those four decades I never heard him say an unkind word about anyone.

“The photo was taken at a Malaysian restaurant in Soho, in (I think) 1985: from the left the American composer and writer Phillip Ramey, Ollie Knussen, myself and Bayan. Only Phillip and me still around now…”

Sad news: author, composer and critic Bayan Northcott has died at the age of 82.