Peter Mountain’s early musical career was fraught with challenges that required determination and courage as well as talent. Born into a musical family, he secured a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and began his studies in September 1940, just as London was enveloped in waves of Nazi bombing raids. Conscripted into the Royal Marines Band in 1943, he was among the first British troops to liberate Paris, and subsequently led a services orchestra on a tour of Southeast Asia.
Returning to civilian life, he joined the pioneering Boyd Neel String Orchestra before being hired by producer Walter Legge as a founding player of the Philharmonia. Outside of orchestral life, he established himself as an active soloist and chamber musician – notably with his wife, pianist Angela Dale, and his own string quartet – and broadcast regularly.
In 1955, he was appointed leader of the (soon to be Royal) Liverpool Philharmonic, staying for 11 years before joining the London Philharmonic, freelancing frequently in the capital as a soloist and with the English Chamber Orchestra.
His involvement in education began in earnest in 1968, when he was appointed concertmaster of the newly created but short-lived BBC Training Orchestra (later the Academy of the BBC) under conductor Meredith Davies. In 1975, he became head of strings at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, staying in the post until his retirement in 1990, when he became head of strings for Bradford Education. He was also the chief string coach for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and served as chairman of the Scottish Society of Composers, many of whom he commissioned chamber works from for himself and his wife, who died in 2004.
He composed several works for violin and wrote two volumes of memoirs – Scraping a Living (2007) and Further Scrapings (2009).
Peter Mountain, who was born in Shipley, Yorkshire on October 3, 1923, died, aged 89, on January 11. He is survived by his three children.
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