In memoriam to a friend - September 16 2011

I was very sad today to hear the news that Richard Stewart, friend and fellow musician, died this morning after a long fight with cancer. Richard has been a valuable part of my little orchestra for several years. He has played on Metamorpheus, Wild Orchids, and my new album Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. He was a talented, sensitive cellist with an exquisite sound that added a special resonance. He was also a mountaineer, and his strength and bravery strongly showed throughout his illness.

Richard was also a lovely guy, really kind and generous, with a great sense of humour too. He worked for many years with Dick Driver, bass / double bass player also in my favourite family of musicians and a friend from Quiet World days. Together they played with several orchestras, including the English National Ballet and the Moscow City Ballet. Dick appreciated Richard's warm personality, his fine playing and also his interest in my music, which led him to introduce Richard to me.

Richard has always been a joy to work with. Despite his illness, he still came to see me play with the band in Pontardawe, Wales last year. I was glad to see him and spend time chatting with him and his parents there. To the last he had a positive spirit and always showed concern for others, even when I last spoke to him only a few days ago. He was only forty eight years old.

Deepest condolences from Jo and me to Richard's family. His beautiful cello will always continue to be a part of my music in spirit and I will hold a special place in my heart to his sweet memory. A modest gentleman with a huge sound.


16th September 2011