- Mar 29, 1928
- Jun 22, 2007
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Derek Simpson (29 March 1928 – 22 June 2007) was an English cellist, known primarily from his work with the Aeolian Quartet, and as the teacher of many contemporary cellists.
Simpson was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, to musician parents, and started playing the cello at 10 years old. At 19 he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1952 he won the Suggia Prize, which gave him the chance to study in Paris for a year, with the famous cellist Pierre Fournier. On his return to England, Simpson soon got work both for the Brighton Philharmonic, the London Chamber Orchestra, and as a solo performer.
In 1956 he received an offer to join the very prestigious Aeolian String Quartet. He remained with the quartet until it disbanded in 1981. The ensemble, among other things, made a complete recording of Haydn’s string quartets – a project that took six years to complete. Simpson also had time for other projects, however, and his playing can be heard on The Beatles’ singles Strawberry Fields Forever.
He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, where several of his many pupils took part in memorial tribute concerts in January and February 2008. He was among the teachers of Raphael Wallfisch. Among his active pupils are: Angela East, Benedict Rogerson, Mary Pells, Justin Pearson, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Robert Ibell, Susan Sheppard, Sebastian Comberti and Alasdair Strange. Many of his students share an interest in historically informed performance. […]
Last updated on October 16, 2022