Tribute paid to late Wanstead violinist who played with Royal Philharmonic

A violinist who played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has been described as “warm hearted and generous” by his best friend and recital partner.

Keith Gurry, who lived in Wanstead for the majority of his life, was 66 when he died on May 29 from stomach cancer.

During his four decade career as a violinist Mr Gurry also worked for the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as leading the Woodford Symphony Orchestra.

David Silkoff, 62, of Tafford Close, Hainault, who was Mr Gurry’s recital partner for 25 years, said: “He was very, very skilled and was a good friend to lots of people.

“It has still not sunk in that he has gone, it all happened so quickly.”

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Mr Gurry was born in East Ham but moved to Belgrave Road, Aldersbrook where he lived for more than 40 years.

He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in 1964 where he worked with Ralph Holmes and later joined the Royal Symphony Orchestra where he played section lead.

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Mr Silkoff, a professional pianist, said: “He was very busy, at one stage we worked out that we had done more than 50 recitals or concerts together.

“I’m sure it was higher over the years.

“He was someone I could call any time of the day.”

Mr Gurry joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1978 and retired in 2005.

Mr Silkoff said: “Many people would have seen him when he played at the Proms, I went with my late wife to see him at the Last Night of the Proms six years ago.”

After retirement Mr Gurry became the leader of the Woodford Symphony Orchestra.

Rabbi David Hulbert, who plays with the orchestra, said: “He helped people and made everybody play their best. I was very honoured to have known him and to have played with him.”

Mr Gurry was not married and had no children.

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