We have been notified by musicians in Vienna of the death of Paul Leggett, a respected and popular viola player and teacher in Australia.
Paul, 48, was swimming in Ellery Creek Big Hole, near Alice Springs, when he apparently suffered cramp and went under. His body has not yet been recovered.
Before moving to Alice Springs, Paul played as associate principal in the opera orchestra in Melbourne.
His sister, the cellist Sarah Porter, writes: ‘I don’t know how to begin to say that my brother tragically drowned yesterday in a waterhole just outside of Alice Springs on a school excursion. I feel devastated and in shock to lose such an amazing person. I will miss our times of joking and playing music together. Please rest in peace, Paul.’
The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic has posted: ‘Last night was a shock and today has been a hard day. A sad day. A reminder that we should never take people, or life, for granted. That all of those lucky enough to have music in their lives have a profound ability to share it with others and make the world a better place, even if at times life can throw you a tough gig and things don’t always seem to go your way. That every person is put on this earth for a reason, and that we should all respect those who want to undertake that reason without fanfare or financial reward. Today we have lost a good person who just wanted every child to have the chance to share his love of music. Rest in peace Paul Leggett. Your never ending enthusiasm will be missed my many.’
Our condolences to his family and many friends the world over.