|10 Feb 2022
|Life After Hymers
Francis Ralph Holmes was 10 years old when he attended Hymers College for 2 years. He went on to study with notable musicians David Martin, Ivan Galamian and George Enescu, and became one of the leading violinists of his generation.
In 1951, he gave his London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and his American debut was in 1966. From 1964 he was professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In addition to much chamber music, he had most major twentieth century violin concerti in his repertoire.
Holmes died in Beckenham in September 1984, aged only forty-seven.
Richard Quick, Head of Intermediate Music was in a youth orchestra that accompanied Ralph Holmes.
In 1983/84 I was in a very good youth orchestra (Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra) made up of Conservatoire students in London that accompanied Ralph Holmes playing the World Premiere of the Suite for Violin and Orchestra by Delius. A week or 2 after the performance, he recorded it with the RPO, then felt ill, and passed away shortly afterwards. He was a wonderful person and a beautiful Violin player.
I wish somehow I could have known I was going to be Head of Strings at his old school - it would have been ace to talk to him about it all.
In October 1964, Ralph Holmes returned to the school to perform in a special concert by the School Music Society. The article in relation to this concert was found in The Hymerian, March 1965 and can be seen below:
To hear one of his recordings, please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqfYn46YI_M
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