Quiet death of famous quartet member

Quiet death of famous quartet member


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2021

We have received belated confirmation of the death of Ronald Birks, second violin of the Lindsay Quartet and later of the Chilingarians.

Ronnie was 79.

Selected for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 1959, he spent two years with the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra before joining the Lindsays in 1971 and remaining with them until the quartet’s disbandment in 2005.

He recorded two complete Beethoven cycles and all six Bartok quartets.

He died at home in October.



  • yujafan says:

    RIP, such a sad loss after a life of dedicated service to music. I will treasure the memories I have of his playing in concerts and on his many wonderful recordings.

  • JMW says:

    A lovely man, friendly, modest about his great talent but deeply musical. I have happy memories of many concerts with the Lindsay’s at the Crucible in Sheffield, particularly the immersive festivals which explored the wealth of the quartet repertoire. Glorious music, then a convivial chat over a beer at the bar.

  • Arnolphe says:

    Ditto at Manchester University’s old Department of Music (a converted bijou cinema, I think!) in Denmark Road. A wonderful member of the phenomenal Lindsay Quartet with the charismatic Peter Cropper as Leader. Memories of many memorable performances, including several complete cycles of the Beethoven Quartets, the final one in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, and not to forget their inimitable interpretations of Haydn. RIP, Ronnie.

  • JussiB says:

    quiet death? as opposed to…?