Death of a noted London leader

Death of a noted London leader


norman lebrecht

September 22, 2020

There is a death notice in today’s Times for Barry Griffiths, former leader of the BBC Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and most distinctively, the English National Opera orchestras.

Barry was 81.

He leaves eight children and 19 grandchildren.


Here’s how good he was.



  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    I remember him playing a Vivaldi double concerto with Henryk Szeryng at the Royal Festival Hall. RIP

  • Faye C says:

    Barry also had an OBE, although he was far too modest to mention it. A wonderfully kind man, as well as an incredible musician – I feel privileged to have known him. May he rest in peace

  • Jennifer Stinton says:

    Barry was a wonderful musician and charismatic person. RIP

  • NYMike says:


  • Robert Roy says:

    A lovely player.

    RIP. ❤️❤️❤️

  • phil newton says:

    I met Barry on a weekend ABC TV “Saturday Night Out” in Didsbury -Spring 1961-
    My teacher here in L/poo gave me and and two RLPO fiddlers on a Sat and Sunday a lift to ABC Studios to front the Dr Crock and his Crackpots Band -Ted Ray and Jimmy wheeler did their double fiddle act with jokes of course. There was a well
    known soprano and Mr Pastry and Max Walls piano act on the bill. Wheeler had forgotten his violin so an RLPO
    player gave his to Jimmy in exchange for a a band clarinet to hold.
    There`s a u tube clip of that scene but a gauze drop down curtain separated us in the band from camera -But we could be heard.
    Two weeks later we were in a St Helens Town hall gig and were just in time to sprint
    to local tv shop to see ourselves in the recording.
    I seem to remember his his partner to be Angela at a St Georges Hall Liverpool Matthay School concert in 1961 where I did the 1st movement of the Mozart nr 3 K216-
    In 1972 I had the audacity to present myself for a BBC Northern audition on the Mendelssohn with a very factory built but otherwise robust school violin in an insouciant manner -Looking back It was his presence and what he didnt say that was an experience in itself.A born diplomat. too. Deepest respects and sympathy -phil newton ,