Peter Cropper, the first violin of the Lindsay Quartet (later The Lindsays), has died; he was 69. He was also the founding Artistic Director of Sheffield's Music in the Round.
Cropper, with Ronald Birks (second violin), Roger Bigley (viola) and Bernard Gregor-Smith (cello), formed the quartet at the Royal Academy of Music in 1965 - initially to compete for a prize. Once established, the Lindsay Quartet were appointed Leverhulme Scholars at Keele University (at which point they changed name from Cropper to that of the University's founder, Lord Lindsay). The Lindsays recorded extensively for ASV: their set of the late quartets of Beethoven brought them a Gramophone Award in 1984. They also held posts as quartet-in-residence at both Sheffield and Manchester universities.
The Lindsays announced their retirement in 2005, after 39 years of performing together. After parting, Cropper performed as a soloist, recording the Beethoven sonata for piano and violin with Martin Roscoe (also for ASV), and in a piano trio with Moray Welsh and Roscoe. He also taught an MA course in string quartet performance at Sheffield University.
Writing about Beethoven's string quartets as an introduction to a complete cycle by the young Elias Quartet (whom he mentored), Cropper wrote: 'I played each quartet at least 200 times over 30 years and never tired of them. There was always some new element that was uncovered in each performance. Quartets are a conversation between four players sometimes agreeing and sometimes arguing in the sense that we sometimes play the same tune together but we could equally barge in with another idea.'