Rhinegold The Medici String Quartet
Katy Wright

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Violinist Paul Robertson dies aged 63

3:19, 8th August 2016

Violinist Paul Robertson, leader and founder of Medici String Quartet, died on 26 July 2016 aged 63.

He had been suffering from heart disease.

Robertson began his violin studies with Manoug Parikian, and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music aged 15.

He founded the Medici String Quartet with violinist David Matthews, violist Paul Silverthorne and cellist Anthony Lewis aged 17. The ensemble played together for more than 40 years and made over 50 recordings, including piano quintets with Sir Clifford Curzon.

His health problems prompted him to devote his energies towards the Music Mind Spirit Trust, of which he was joint CEO along with his wife Chika. The Trust aims to ‘research and explore the neurological, scientific and ethical basis of music, in order to understand its underlying effect on cognitive, social and subjective behaviour’.

Robertson was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, visiting professor in music and medicine at the Peninsula Medical School and visiting fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford. He was also a member of the European Cultural Parliament and an associate of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Before his death he spoke about the visions of heaven and hell he experienced while in a coma after suffering a burst aorta in 2008.

Robertson’s memoir Soundscapes: A Musician’s Journey Through Life and Death will be published in hardback by Faber & Faber on 1 September.

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