Sad news: String quartet leader has died

The violinist Peter Cropper, founder of the Lindsay Quartet and creator of Sheffield’s Music on the Round concert series, died on Saturday, aged 69.

Lancashire born, he formed the quartet in 1965 with Ronald Birks (violin), Roger Bigley (viola; later Robin Ireland) and Bernard Gregor-Smith (cello), while they were students at the Royal Academy of Music. They played together for 40 years and made numerous recordings, including a complete set of the Beethoven quartets and many of Haydn’s.

Affable, innovative, always enterprising, Peter will be widely missed.

peter cropper

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  • Very sad news. He played with such intensity; such generosity. Every performance was as though his life depended on it. Rest in peace.

  • Sad indeed. In my youth I used to think string quartets were boring – until I went to a concert by the Lindsays. I have been a fan ever since, particularly of Cropper. Ruben is right – he was so passionate and magnetic, seemingly incapable of a routine performance, whether in concert or on disc.

  • So sad; as a first violinist he was a comet in the quartet world.
    Smoking had some part in his too-early death?

  • He was so generous with his time and energies at Manchester where he inspired several generations of students with his totally committed playing and vision of what music making and music education should be. By all accounts he continued this work at Sheffield. The Lindsays were the heart of Manchester’s Music Department when I was a student there – they were so generous with their time and energies. RIP.

  • A great loss. Peter was a great and passionate musician, never routine in life or music. I will always cherish the Lindsay’s performances particularly their Beethoven ad Tippett. RIP

  • With apologies to Norbert Brainin, Sandor Vegh and others but Peter Cropper was undoubtedly the greatest quartet leader of our time. They, and he, may not always have played all of the right notes in the right order but on their day, The Lindsays, led by Peter, were always electrifying live performers and he carried that irrepressible enthusiasm into the piano trio with Moray Welsh and Martin Roscoe. A tragic loss.

  • I hope I am not too late. I’m just a humble amateur violinist but I had the unbelievable luck to play alongside Peter, I think on 27th April 1963, in Ipswich School. My playing and thoughts about playing were transformed forever.

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