We have been informed of the death of Beryl Rubens, an accomplished violinist and viola player and member of a musical family. Before migrating to the US, she played in the orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
portrait by Norma Procter
Beryl’s brother Harold Rubens was a piano prodigy and close friend of Nelson Mandela.
Brother Cyril was a violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra. Sister Bernice was a novelist who won the Booker prize for The Elected Member and wrote a profoundly true story of music teaching, Madame Sousatzka, based on Harold’s boyhood instructor.
Beryl spent much of her life on an agricultural commune in the American heartlands. She talks about it here.
Beryl’s family tell us she was playing string quartets to the last day of her life.