Cancer claims Juilliard Quartet’s violist, at 61

Cancer claims Juilliard Quartet’s violist, at 61


norman lebrecht

January 19, 2022

A statement from the Juilliard String Quartet:

We are heartbroken to lose our beloved colleague and friend Roger Tapping. Roger died of cancer today at the age of 61 with his family by his side. One of the most passionate and celebrated chamber musicians of his generation, Roger was adored by students, colleagues, and audiences around the world. His love for performing and teaching radiated from his very being and deeply touched all who knew him. We will continue to be inspired by his unstoppable energy and zeal, qualities that he brought to all his musical collaborations. Our daily quartet rehearsals were elevated by Roger’s love for playing string quartets together.  The pleasure he derived from music-making  was palpable and inspiring, not just for those of us who were his colleagues, but for the generations of young musicians who were fortunate enough to have known and worked with him.

Roger Tapping, London born, was a member of the Allegri Quartet before moving to the US to join the Takacs in 1995. On the retirement of Samuel Rhodes in 2014, he switched to the Juilliard String Quartet.

He taught at Juilliard, Tanglewood, Interlochen and elsewhere and will be very widely missed.

Tributes: String quartets grieve


  • David Rowe says:

    Very widely missed indeed. Roger embodied the essence of chamber music, and our field has been so enriched because he chose to grace us with his talent and spirit. Deeply saddening news, and condolences to his wonderful family and colleagues.

  • Stephen kovacevich says:

    Roger tapping…
    Magnificent man and musician

  • nimitta says:

    A wise man and a wonderful musician! May his memory be a blessing to all whose hearts he touched.

  • MusicBear88 says:

    I had the pleasure of music directing “Into the Woods” at the high school where his children were students at the time; I had also gone there twenty years before. He was beyond gracious and thanked me for taking the time to work with his children and for my supportive musicianship. May his memory forever be a blessing.

  • Greta Berman says:

    All of us at Juilliard who knew Roger Tapping as a beloved colleague are heartbroken by this devastating news! Condolences to his family and friends. We shall miss him!

  • Jessica O'Leary says:

    An exceptional man and musician. Even though he left London many years ago, his artistry and kindness linger. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

  • Lynnann Bourque says:

    May he Rest In Peace… I had the pleasure, as a fellow violist, of meeting him at Tanglewood several years ago. He was a brilliant musician and wonderful person.