Death of a principal flute

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has made known the death of its long-serving principal flute, Richard Chester.

A passionate supporter of music education, Richard performed in the Orchestra from the late 1960s until mid-1980s before becoming Chief Executive of The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland – NYOS. Through his tireless work and dedication as a performer, educator, administrator and patron, Richard’s influence reaches many generations of musicians. We send our sincere condolences to those nearest to him at this sad time.

Neeme Järvi, former principal conductor of the RNSO, writes: ‘All my good people are leaving me…’

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  • Robert Roy says:

    Very sad news. A real stalwart of the Orchestra and one of its most recognisable figures from that golden period.

    RIP, Mr. Chester and thanks for the wonderful music.

    • Leo Doherty says:

      Yes indeed a golden period of orchestral playing, Alex Gibson, Sibelius and Richard on first flute. I still think about it 50 years on. Rest in peace.

  • Anne says:

    Sad news. I will always remember him from my time in NYOS, he was a great supporter of young musicians in Scotland.

  • Richard had a wonderful career as principal flute of the RSNO – but an even more remarkable one when he became CEO of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland which became a superb ensemble under his direction – it’s repertoire covering much contemporary music which other orchestras failed to programme! He was a lovely colleague and his quiet authority moved mountains! His memory lives on. RIP Richard.

  • Nick2 says:

    Richard was also one of the original members of Cantilena, the ensemble of 13 musicians made up of members of the SNO in the early 1970s and the brainchild of its Principal Cello Adrian Shepherd. I believe he can still be heard as soloist on one of their albums of baroque flute concerti. Richard was a lovely friend and an excellent musician and administrator. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

  • Daniel Kellerhals says:

    I am so sad. It is a loss deeply felt by all of us involved in promoting music making among all people. My condolences to the family of Richard.

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