Horror: UK clarinet is killed in street attack

Horror: UK clarinet is killed in street attack


norman lebrecht

July 08, 2020

The Evening Standard reports:

Rosemary Hill, 87, was assaulted from behind while walking in Reigate, Surrey, on June 21. She suffered head injuries and died in hospital five days later.

She is better known in the music world as the clarinetist Rosemary Few. She was married to the late horn player Ray Few and played at various times in the Yorkshire Symphony, CBSO, Lebanese National Symphony, Ballet Rambert and New Zealand Broadcasting Company Symphony Orchestra. She also had a long teaching career at Reigate Grammar, where Labour Party leader Keir Starmer went to school.

Ray Few was manager of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the late 1960s. He was then appointed by the GLC to run concerts at Kenwood, Marble Hill, Crystal Palace and Alexandra Palace.

Their son, the cellist Jonathan Few, had moved in with Rosemary during the Covid lockdown.

This is an unspeakable tragedy in a quiet commuter town, not far from London.

Surrey Police said: ‘Detectives are continuing to investigate the assault that took place on Warren Road in Reigate at 5.40pm on Sunday, June 21.’


  • lillianastanescu says:

    I do worry what this world is coming to. No, what it came to for several decades now, where we attack each other for no apparent reason. Unspeakable…. again, unfortunately, RIP.

  • Mouse says:

    It is always astonishing how the author of this blog constantly equates people with things.
    (Just make a search for e. g. “stick”). Is it too much asked for to write in a more human language when reports are about humans?
    I don’t see that on blogs for other musical genres … drum set gets killed in car accident?… how bizarre.


    What A tragedy. A life dedicated to music ends in this dastardly way. Contemporary society: Quo vadis?

  • V. Lind says:

    Why? Why? Why?

    This sort of story breaks my heart.

  • Sharon says:

    I agree. What a shame! My condolences to the family.

    • Rustier spoon says:

      “What a shame”?!!!!!
      What kind of comment is that pertaining to such horrific and tragic events? (I despair)

  • christopher storey says:

    An absolute tragedy

  • Tony Catterick says:

    As the Historian for The British Horn Society, several years ago I went to interview Rosemary about her husband Ray Few, who had enjoyed a fine career as a much respected horn player. Rosemary was most agreeable to talk about Ray, sharing anecdotes and his military experiences during World War Two.She even gave me his fathers old piston valve French horn to take away as a present. She was very gracious, warm and a delight to be with and listen to her fond memories of her husband. What has happened to her is an horrific and ghastly tragedy and I offer mine and the Societies, deepest condolences to her family.
    RIP Rosemary.