We have been informed of the death of Hugh Maguire on Friday, at the age of 86.
Dublin born, Hugh was leader of the London Symphony Orchestra during the turbulent late 1950s (1956-61), when strong-minded players exerted their contrasting wills on an always turbulent ensemble. Neville Marriner was leader of the seconds, Simon Stretfeild was principal viola, Kenneth Heath led the cellos and Stuart Knussen the double-bass section.
Losing one argument too many, Hugh joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra as leader from 1962 to 1967, while also playing in Marriner’s newly founded Academy and founding the Cremona Quartet with his student, Iona Brown.
He later led the Allegri Quartet and taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the Britten-Pears School. His strong, clear tone can be heard on hundreds of recording. May he rest in blessed peace. His death was first announced at Aldeburgh.
Brian Brooks, Hugh Maguire and Peter Pears backstage at Aldeburgh, June 1980. Photo (c) Nigel Luckhurst/Lebrecht Music&Arts