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Hugh Maguire

The world of classical music in Britain was considerably enhanced by Hugh Maguire, the Irish violinist who led the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and took a deep interest in tutoring young string players.

The son of a head teacher who introduced all six of his children to music, Maguire gathered awards around Ireland before, in 1944, winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London.

After working with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for a time, he became leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra before moving to the London Symphony Orchestra in 1956, a difficult time as its musicians were then campaigning for a greater influence in how decisions were made.

Three years later, Maguire worked closely with Neville Marriner in establishing the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. It was during the 1960s that he became leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as appearing as a soloist at several Proms concerts and founding a piano trio with cellist Jacqueline du Pre and the Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong.

In 1978, Maguire became the director of string studies at the Britten-Pears school in Aldeburgh, and in the 1980s he spent many years leading the orchestra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

After his death, Aldeburgh Music issued a statement: “For over 35 years, Hugh Maguire’s talent, huge generosity and matchless musical knowledge enriched and inspired two generations of Aldeburgh’s young string players and their audiences.”

Andrew Hugh Michael Maguire, who was born on August 2, 1926, died on June 14, aged 86.

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