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St Peter's 13-18

Brian Hawkins

Brian Hawkins FRCM    13 October 1936 - 17 October 2019

Born in York, Brian Hawkins had lessons on the violin with his mother, who had studied the instrument at the Royal College of Music and taught at Bootham and The Mount.  After attending St Olive's, he became a day border at St Peter's, where he received strong support from his music master, Freddy Waine. He became a member of the NYO and changed his instrument to the viola, which he went on to study at the RCM in 1954, with Cecil Aronowitz. On leaving in 1960, he was awarded the silver medal of The Most Worshipful Company of Musicians. The next five years were spent in Scotland with the Edinburgh String Quartet, before returning to a very busy musical life in London.

Brian Hawkins was a founder member of the London Bach Orchestra, a member of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and Principal viola with the London Sinfonietta. He was also a member of several chamber groups, including the Vesuvius Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble, the London Oboe Quartet, and the London Virtuosi, and was in a family trio and piano quartet with his Tunnell cousins, John, Susan and Charles. He was appointed Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the RCM in 1967, where he became an influential, dedicated and popular teacher. He was Head of Strings from 1992 until his retirement in 2002 and his broad musical experience and knowledge enriched the entire string faculty. Teaching, examining, and adjudicating, continued well into his retirement.