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Alexander Kok

British cellist Alexander 'Bobby' Kok was born at Brakpan near Johannesburg in South Africa on 14 February 1926. He won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His violinist brother Felix Kok became leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Bobby became a founder member of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and continued his studies with Pierre Fournier and Pablo Casals.

He taught music history at Dartington in Devon, and set up the Dartington String Quartet with Colin Sauer, Peter Carter and Keith Lovell. He was also a founder member of the London Octet and the London Ensemble.

He became principal cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and afterwards became a session musician, playing with The Beatles, and on various prestigious film recordings, including Walton's Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III, but also Desert Rats, Lawrence of Arabia, Battle of Britain, Life of Brian and Time Bandits.

He was one of the founders of the Cheltenham Music School and, after retiring to Normandy, wrote his autobiography, A Voice in the Dark: The Philharmonia Years.

Bobby Kok died on 1 May 2015, aged eighty-nine.

 

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