“Gervase de Peyer, who has died aged 90, was one of the great postwar clarinet players, whose distinctive tone, breathtaking phrasing and delicate shaping of the music made him a favourite with conductors, audiences and critics alike,” states an unsigned obituary in Monday’s (2/6) The Daily Telegraph (London). “He enjoyed a distinguished career as a soloist, cofounded the Melos Ensemble and was principal clarinet of the London Symphony Orchestra for 17 years before moving to New York in the 1970s.” Born April 11, 1926, in London, De Peyer pursued studies in clarinet, piano, and harmony at the Royal College of Music, then joined the Royal Marines’ Band Service. Following the war he was “offered work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra…played with the London Mozart Players and joined the London Symphony Orchestra under Josef Krips in 1956.” He performed with New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center during its early years, and “returned to Britain in 1989, becoming a popular teacher. When the internet age dawned de Peyer set up his first website, declaring himself to be ‘the world’s most recorded clarinetist.’ ” Survivors include Katia Aubry, his wife of 36 years, and three children from his first marriage.
Posted February 8, 2017