We are saddened to report the death, this morning at his home in West Linton, near Edinburgh, of the composer and pianist Ronald Stevenson. He was 87 and had been in poor health in recent weeks.
He is probably best known for his 80-minute Passacaglia on DSCH for solo piano, written between 1960 and 1962 on a theme derived from the initials of Dmitri Shostakovitch, to whom he dedicated the work, one of the longest ever written for solo piano.
He also wrote two piano concertos, a violin concerto for Yehudi Menuhin and a cello concerto in memory of Jacqueline du Pré.
A man of great modesty and no appetite for limelight, he was a source of inspirations for hundreds of young musicians in Scotland – and beyond. He gave seminars at Juilliard and taught at Capetown and York.
Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, and schooled at what was then the Manchester College of Music (now RNCM), he identified with his father’s lineage and moved to Scotland from his mid-20s.