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Adrian Shepherd, MBE


Adrian studied the cello with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and was for 20 years principal cello with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and professor of cello at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He founded the ensemble Cantilena in 1970, making several recordings with them and others, and was its artistic director and conductor until recently. He also directed the Cantilena Festival each July on Islay. Under his leadership, the orchestra gave many successful concerts, including a Beethoven piano concerto series with Simon Ballard.

He had fought a courageous and determined battle against cancer for some years, but as things got worse he needed a spell in hospital and then he went into St. Wilfrid's Hospice in Eastbourne, where he was wonderfully treated. Members of the orchestra played from the programme of a recent concert in the grounds. He grew to accept his situation in the last weeks, and, after some days of unconciousness, passed away peacefully on Wednesday 24th July 2013.


Friends and pupils gave a concert in his memory in St. Leonard's Church, Seaford, on Nov. 2nd 2013, to a packed audience. A collection raised funds
for St. Wilfrid's Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and Help Musicians UK
(the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund).