Sad news: The last member of the Amadeus Quartet has died

Sonia Lovett has just informed us:

It is with great regret that I have to announce the death of our beloved father Martin Lovett this morning in North London. An exceptional musician, artist, raconteur and liberal thinker. Last survivor of the Amadeus String Quartet, Father to Sonia Lovett and Peter Lovett and husband first to Suzanne Rozsa and then Dorinde van Oort.

Martin was 93.

The only English-born member of the epochal quartet, Martin was the son of a London Philharmonic cellist who taught him, aged 11, to play the instrument. He went to the Royal College of Music where he met Suzanne Rozsa, whom he quickly married, a partnership that lasted 55 years until her death. In 1947 Martin met three young Austrian refugees – Norbert Brainin, Siegmund Nissel and Peter Schidlof and joined them in the Amadeus Quartet, the most recorded and feted string foursome of the next four decades.

He joked that he had to learn German fast to stay abreast of the other three, but he added his own dry English wit to what could be on occasion a combustible ensemble. He was always fun to be around.

When the quartet came to an end after Schidlof’s sudden death in 1987, Martin taught chamber music courses at colleges and festivals around the world.

Here are two of his best jokes:

For more about the Amadeus Quartet, please click here.

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • Dominic Stafford Uglow says:

    End of an era. RIP.

  • Robert Roy says:

    Very sad news.

  • MezzoLover says:

    In addition to being the only English-born member, Martin Lovett was also the youngest member of the Amadeus Quartet – he was only 19 when he joined the ensemble.

    “I was the baby of the group,” he once said. “They used to call me ‘the Benjamin’.”

    Martin Lovett met Peter Schidlof in the tiny orchestra for Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Glyndebourne, but Lovett was already gravitating towards the same circle, because his future wife, Suzanne Rosza, was a Max Rostal pupil (as were Branin, Nissel and Schidlof) and he himself played in Rostal’s chamber orchestra. Being of similar immigrant descent to the other three, Lovett got on well with them and the rest, as they say, is history.

    RIP Martin Lovett, and thanks for the memories.

  • >