Music graduates return to honour legacy of renowned classical musician

The Alumni Orchestra 2018 - image courtesy of Natalie Halliday

Sheffield graduates from around the world returned to Sheffield last weekend (25 March 2018) to form our first Alumni Orchestra for a concert to celebrate and honour an inspirational classical musician.

The concert, which celebrated the life and music of Peter Cropper, the founder and former leader of the internationally renowned Lindsay Quartet, featured performances by musicians who studied in the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music over the past 50 years.

Graduates who are performing with prestigious orchestras and music institutions all over the world came back to Sheffield, some returning from as far afield as Cyprus and Japan. Other music graduates include alumni who have developed successful careers in Sheffield and throughout the UK, such as composers from Platform 4 – a Sheffield-based composers’ collective – and a musician from the Royal Air Force.

Peter Cropper, once dubbed by a journalist as ‘the Mick Jagger of the string quartet’ because of the intensity and commitment of his playing, also founded Music in the Round – the largest promoter of chamber music outside of London, which presents two concert series each year and an annual May Festival in Sheffield.

Professor George Nicholson from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Music, who is conducting the orchestra in the concert, said:

In 2015 classical music lost one of its most imaginative and inspirational musicians in Peter Cropper.

Professor George Nicholson

“In 2015 classical music lost one of its most imaginative and inspirational musicians in Peter Cropper. He will be remembered for his enormous contribution to chamber music, and of course, for founding and leading the Lindsay Quartet. The quartet was internationally renowned but it has also been widely regarded as the heart and soul of chamber music in the north of England, and it was certainly crucial in the development of a faithful and discerning audience for chamber music in Sheffield and the surrounding region.”

He added:

“We’re delighted to be welcoming musicians who have studied at the University of Sheffield throughout the past 50 years, and they will be playing alongside a few of our current students and young musicians from the Sheffield Music Academy. Our music graduates have gone on to work with some of the UK’s leading orchestras and in some of our most prestigious music institutions. We have former students returning to us from various countries across the world, which bears testimony to the recognised quality of a music degree from the University and its value to people who are interested in pursuing a career in the music industries.

“I am also delighted that Peter Cropper's son Martin will be leading the orchestra during the weekend, and bringing along with him several up-and-coming local string players currently working with him at the Sheffield Music Academy. This will be a real cross-generational event, a collaboration between musicians from the University's past and present and some of the young people of Sheffield who will carry the Cropper spirit of music-making forward into the future.”

Click here for more Latest News

Peter Cropper (1945-2015)
Hon MMus 1985, Hon DMus 2001

Peter Cropper

On Friday the 29 May 2015 Sheffield and the world of classical music lost the shining light that was Peter Cropper.

Peter will be remembered first and foremost for his enormous contribution to chamber music. He led for 40 years the internationally renowned Lindsay Quartet as first violinist, producing in that time a number of critically acclaimed recordings, performing at the highest level across the globe.

On a more local level Peter had an enormous impact on musical environment of Sheffield. Not only did he found Music in the Round, serving as Artistic Director, but was a long standing supporter and contributor to University music making, through numerous performances (most recently in Autumn 2014). As former Director of Performance at the University he inspired many young performers to fulfil their potential.

He was a kind, charismatic, generous, and enthusiastic man and his presence will be sorely missed in this University, throughout the city, and in the countless other places his music and teaching have reached over the years.

University of Sheffield Concerts