Music and Musicians, April 1954

RAF Musicians

GARETH MORRIS, first flute player of the Philharmonia, achieved the almost impossible in March when he managed to collect on one evening a total of 35 working musicians, all former members of the Royal Air Force Symphony Orchestra, for a dinner at the IMA Club to honour their one-time conductor, Wing-Commander R.P.O'donnell.

    The orchestra included many now celebrated musicians and had in its complement members of the Griller Quartet, the Hirsch Quartet, and the Blech Quartet which later expanded into the present London Mozart Players.

    Among those who dined and recalled old days were assistant conductor John Hollingsworth, Harry Blech, Norman Del Mar (second horn in the orchestra), Dennis Brain (first horn) and his brother Leonard (who was principal oboe and is now in the RPO), Harvey Phillips of the Harvey Phillips Orchestra (who was 'cellist), pianist Denis Matthews, who was soloist with them in the war years, Leonard Hirsch, and composer Howard Ferguson.