A remembrance for Basil Tschaikov

A remembrance for Basil Tschaikov


norman lebrecht

September 19, 2016

Friends and colleagues of the well-liked London clarinettist, who died on Wednesday, are invited to a secular ceremony at his daughter’s house this coming Friday. But do ring to say if you’re planning to attend.

Here’s what Sally tells us:


We are having a ceremony here, as a celebration of Nick’s life, this Friday 23rd September.  I expect you know that Nick was fiercely anti religion and I promised him a long time ago that I would lead a ceremony when the time came.  I would be very happy for you to let any one who would be interested know, and although I’m afraid it will be rather short notice we would be very happy to welcome any one here who would be happy to trek out to darkest Norfolk.  It might be a good idea for them to contact me, but not obligatory!  It will be here at our house at 12.00 midday and there will be lunch.

Best wishes

Sara (always known to Nick as Sally)

Sara Barns Needlework

The Old Swan
School Road
Great Massingham
Kings Lynn, Norfolk
PE32 2JA
01485 520151



  • Tony Jones says:

    The second great London clarinettist to pass away in a mater of weeks. The long standing Bass Clarinetist with the LSO from the 80’s through to the early 21st century, John Stenhouse passed away just a couple of weeks ago. Sadly his passing hasn’t been acknowledged by the LSO.
    For those clarinettists amongst us, it really feels like the end of an era.

  • Nick says:

    I am very saddened to learn of Nick’s passing. We met on quite a number of occasions, two of which he graciously mentions in his autobiography. I remember particularly a very difficult period when the Board of the orchestra I was managing was reluctant to take my advice for the process of selecting a new Music Director. Nick was engaged to spend some time with us and present his findings. At our first meeting, he was extremely pleasant but very direct. I was the Manager. I knew the orchestra. The Board had little clue about its day-to-day workings. He agreed completely with my advice and saw his role as being to help me. After a few days meeting with Board members, he confirmed his Report would endorse all my recommendations. But he then gave me his advice on how better to go about managing a frequently difficult Board. I took that advice. Thereafter relations improved considerably.

    Not mentioned here in SD were his years as an Executive with the Musician’s Union. As I got to know him I was certain this made advice he gave especially knowledgeable and useful.

    I continued to see him for several years after and corresponded with him and Dorothy every Christmas. He was a larger than life personality. I shall miss him.

  • Robert Latham says:

    I am very saddened to learn of Nick’s passing. My sincere condolences to all the family. I’m pleased to have been able to visit Nick and Dotty in their flat in Norwich a year or so ago. I grew up in Norbury and Nick and Marion, Penny and Sally were neighbours along with Jack and Joan Brymer and good friends with my family. Although not particularly musical I’ve followed Nick’s career with interest. On one occasion I managed to visit Nick backstage at the RFH with my then wife at a concert he was playing in. I have his book and will now set about reading it again.
    My regards and best wishes to Dotty and the family.

    Robert Latham