Obituary: Violinist Raymond Cohen, 91

Posted on: March 23, 2011

In Wednesday’s (3/23) Guardian (London), Anne Inglis writes, “Raymond Cohen, who has died aged 91, was one of the last of a generation of versatile and brilliant violinists, as comfortable playing a concerto, leading an orchestra or, as he did in his early days, playing light music on Blackpool Pier. He made his greatest mark as a soloist, playing with the notable conductors of his day—indeed, he was the soloist in Karl Goldmark’s Violin Concerto in Sir Thomas Beecham’s last concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in 1960. Cohen retained a deep interest in the violin throughout his life, and sparked off an international debate during the BBC Proms in 2008, when he wrote to the Times regretting the absence of vibrato by the strings in orchestral works by Rossini and Elgar. … He also had an important life as a leader. In 1959, Beecham invited Cohen to lead the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which he did for six and a half years. … As a guest, Cohen also led the Philharmonia, the BBC Symphony and the London Symphony orchestras.”

Posted March 23, 2011