Tributes flood in for music critic

Denby Richards
Denby Richards

TRIBUTES have poured in following the death of a well-known St Leonards editor and music critic.

Denby Richards, who was editor and publisher of two of the world’s oldest classical music magazines, Musical Opinion and The Organ, died earlier this month aged 86. He had been suffering from cancer.

His friend, Judith Monk, of Middle Road, said: “I was a friend and colleague of Denby for a dozen years, and worked with him on both magazines for 10 years.

“Denby and his wife, international concert pianist Rhondda Gillespie, worked tirelessly to ensure the continuation of Musical Opinion and its sister title The Organ.

“He was well-known as a musicologist, author, music critic and raconteur. He regularly reviewed opera at the Royal Opera House and the Coliseum in London and at Glyndebourne.

“Denby was interviewed by the BBC this year having attended the Proms every year for more than 70 years.

“He and Rhondda travelled the world reviewing music festivals and music was his life.

“There have been tributes paid to him from all over the world.”

Film-maker Christopher Nupen described Mr Richards as a ‘colourful fellow’ who was ‘so enlivening to know’ whose death was ‘such a loss to so many’.

He said: “I saw him last at Lord’s at the launch for Robin Daniels’ book about Neville Cardus. Aside from his sight problems he was still the Denby we all know and love and will not forget.”

Pianist Christina Lawrie, from Scotland, said: “Denby was very kind to me, and full of encouragement for me as a young musician. I always greatly appreciated the interest he took in emerging young artists, and loved his perceptive writing and his quirky, inimitable humour.”

Mr Richards is survived by his wife Rhondda, his son Gavin Richards, the well-known actor who appeared in ‘Allo ‘Allo as Captain Alberto Bertorelli and played Terry Raymond in Eastenders, and his daughter Rowena. His funeral was due to be held on Monday (December 20) at Hastings Crematorium.