Tragic road death of international arts director

Tragic road death of international arts director


norman lebrecht

August 31, 2015

The Royal Overseas League, London, has issued the following notice:

DREADFUL NEWS – RODERICK LAKIN. Dear ROSL Members, Staff and Friends. Many will now know, although not all, that our wonderful colleague and friend, Roderick Lakin, our Director of ROSL ARTS, passed away yesterday. He had incurred severe head injuries, having been hit by a bus ten days ago while on duty leading our concert series on the Edinburgh Fringe. He never regained consciousness. We are devastated at this monumental loss and so sad for Roderick’s wife, Margaret, who was by his side when he died. There is no further news to pass on now. We believe that the post mortem process will take a number of days. We will keep everyone informed. For now, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for dear Margaret. Later on, we will consider how we best remember our wonderfully talented Roderick. Best wishes, Roddy Porter (Director-General ROSL).

roderick lakin

Roderick was 65.


  • Richard Bernas says:

    I knew and worked with Roddy when he was administrator of the SPNM. His imaginative and entrepreneurial spirit – forging ties with performers, using keen new ensembles, taking the concerts out of the confines of the SPNM’s premises and generally getting more young music out in front of the public – forged the basis of that organization’s renewal. The SPNM became news again. A lot of fine composers (for example, Mark Anthony Turnage and Simon Holt) had their first big exposure and serious reviews during that period.

    His work with the Royal Overseas League usually covered more established repertory, but demonstrated his extensive knowledge of many musical fields. His academic background was impressive, including researching Rossini opera seria in the libraries of Naples.

    Without any doubt, he had a great deal more to contribute.

  • Sophia Rahman says:

    Roderick Lakin was an exceptional person. (Please note that Roderick was head of ROSL Arts; not to be confused with Roddy Porter who has penned the sad notification above in his capacity as Director-General of ROSL).
    Roderick Lakin’s work at the ROSL involved the support of talented young musicians (also visual artists) beyond competition success and its immediate aftermath, by providing a variety of platforms which offered the chance to gain invaluable performance experience. Many former prizewinners were enlisted by Roderick as judges in subsequent music competitions and participated in other artistic events across the Commonwealth under ROSL auspices. This aspect of Roderick’s work encouraged the fostering of links between artists of different nationalities and backgrounds, and he was particularly excited to be involved with the Pettman/ROSL International Scholarship which each year enables a young chamber ensemble from
    New Zealand to benefit from such principles of cultural exchange by coming to the UK for a month of intensive cultural activity.
    Roderick treated young and more mature artists alike with respect, kindness and generosity. His sense of humour, creativity and appreciation of the finer things in life will be much missed, aside from the immense contribution he made to cultural life in the UK and internationally.

  • Alison Cox says:

    Roderick was the most wonderful, inspirational person who helped, nurtured and supported generations of talented musicians from all over the world. I knew him as a friend and also as a greatly-valued patron of my musical charity, The Commonwealth Resounds. We shall be offering tributes to his life, work and achievements and I know that others will be doing so too. For now we are all so sad, and offer our condolences, especially to Margaret and others who were close to him. Roderick, you will never be forgotten.

  • Alisdair Fleming says:

    I’m a bit if an outsider in this group as I only knew Roderick when he and I were at the same school. He was, shall I say, quite a larger than life character! He was always the star of any school musical productions and showed star quality even then. I wish I had had the maturity to get to know him better at the time.

  • Neil MacKay says:

    Like Alisdair Fleming, above, I’m a bit of an outsider here and only found out about this tragedy last night because I occasionally Google the names of some of my old musician friends to see if I can find them.
    The last time I saw Roderick was a purely chance meeting in the street, in London SW7 in 1969/70, but he and I, along with someone who I shall just call J.S., were mates, sort of, for a few years in Aberdeen; J.S. and Roderick were at a different school to me but we met through our mutual music interests.
    Apart from his flamboyant personality, what I shall always remember is, of course, his voice. He was an incredibly and hugely talented treble and I often wondered if he carried on singing after his voice broke; I shall never forget him singing the “Allelujah” from Mozart’s “Exultate Jubilate” in Mastrick Church in Aberdeen.
    Corny it may be, but I guess he’s singing in a different choir now.
    Rest in peace, Roderick.