Leading UK cello is killed by Coronavirus, at 62

Leading UK cello is killed by Coronavirus, at 62


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2020

Friends have confirmed the death of Martin Loveday, a much admired cellist in the London orchestras and chamber ensembles.

He had been receiving treatment for cancer when Covid struck.


He played the solo cello on Katherine Jenkins’ albums.


  • Tony Britten says:

    This is very sad. I have fond memories of sitting up late with Martin, talking about music over too many beers in Germany when he was playing with Music Theatre London. And he has been a much valued contributor to many recordings for me – as well as, of course for many others. A charming and quietly amusing man, he will be much missed.

  • Gaffney Feskoe says:


  • Step Parikian says:

    Norman – can you confirm this is correct? And also explain why the story was put up this morning, subsequently taken down and then re-published?
    Thank you.

    • Edmund Coxon says:

      Step – it is correct. There was some initial confusion over reporting and a brief glimpse of hope which faded as quickly as it arose. It might be nice if Martin was referred to as a Cellist rather than a Cello. Not sure if Norman can amend that?

    • Rachel Bolt says:

      Hi Step,
      Sadly this is correct, there was initially some misinformation that caused confusion, no-one’s fault. Martin will be hugely missed, hard to believe really.

  • Steve Williams says:

    Lovely guy, very fine cellist and great colleague RIP

  • mandocello624 says:

    I didn’t know cellos could contract the disease.

    • Gav says:

      Tell you what prick. Where do you live so we can have a conversation about how far i’ve knocked your teeth down your throat.

    • Gav says:

      I reacted to this comment after a few beers and thinking that someone may have been having a laugh at an old friend’s expense. If that is the case the previous comment stands. However looking at the name is doubt it and my comment would have likely caused a chuckle. Rip old friend.

  • There must be a time set aside in the future when a fitting tribute to Martin is made by his very many friends and colleagues. I was at RAM with Martin – he was the year behind me, in a vintage group of Florence Hooten pupils – he won all chamber music prizes and distinguished himself with a rock-solid technique and eloquent sonority. I had the privilege of playing with him for many years in Isobel Griffith’s and Gavyn Wright’s cello sections and both he and his great Gagliano cello were ever-present in that great section of genuine friends, recording sessions for film and pop. Unsurprisingly, Martin also was so respected as to perform with many top freelance orchestras including the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields chamber ensemble. He was one of the inner circle of the session scene and always gave the same high level of utmost concentration and commitment to whatever music he was recording or performing. Excellent sense of humour and a cellist’s heart.

  • Hilary Davan Wetton says:

    We had the pleasure of Martin’s presence as principal cello in the Milton Keynes Chamber Orchestra for most of the 1980s. He was exceptional in that rôle, both musically and in terms of personality. A major loss to the profession. RIP.

  • Julia Goehr says:

    I am very sad to hear this. We were at RAM together in the same year. RIP

  • Simon Morris says:

    What a wonderful man and musician that we have lost. Martin advanced his career through talent and modesty – not an easy achievement. I spent happy and fun years sharing a desk with him in the ASMF. He will be greatly missed.

  • John Holmes says:


    This is surely a time to pause this faddish way of headline writing. We’ve seen in many times on SD : Oboe rather than oboist, Violin rather than violinist.

    Yes, it’s nice and whimsical, but sometimes we need a bit of dignity and ‘Cellist’ would read better here.

  • John says:

    Very sad. Was Martin related to Alan Loveday?

  • Kay Tucker says:

    So terribly sad to hear this. We both performed Handel’s sonata for 2 cellos at his nephew’s wedding not too long ago. Such a generous and kind man.