Pamela Price - Obituary

A touching obituary for Sheffield violin teacher, Pamela Price

Pamela Price (1925-2019)

The music community of Sheffield will be saddened to hear of the death of Pamela (‘Pam’) Price, following a short illness.

Pam arrived in Sheffield in c.1977-8 after the death of her husband, Stuart Hetley Price (1922-1977), the inaugural Bishop of Doncaster and, in his final posting in 1976, Bishop of Ripon. Having paused her playing and teaching activities as a clergyman’s wife, she began again, influenced by the teachings of Hungarian pedagogue, Kato Havas. I myself was amongst her pupils, beginning the violin at the age of 5 with her in 1979.

As a teacher, Pam was very gifted: as anyone whose opinion counts knows, there is often substantial distinction between a good teacher and a good player, and her enthusiastic and analytical bearing (in which no problem was incapable of solution) influences my own work. She encouraged my own ardent enthusiasm to learn the violin to the highest standards with much wisdom and good humour, passing me over to Peter Cropper of the Lindsay Quartet at a sensible stage in my development, securing some of my adolescent concerto performances, and acting thereafter and until the present as something of an advisor. She followed my own developing performer-scholar career with much fondness and was always highly encouraging to Ruth and me when we set up our own teaching practice partnership, Milsom School of Music in 2006.

Pam’s energy and commitment to music in Sheffield was considerable. She played at one time in most of the amateur orchestras, including Hallam Sinfonia, Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, and Sheffield Chamber Orchestra, only retiring from the last a handful of years ago. Her enthusiasm for chamber music was met by regular ‘quartet parties’ at her home in Ecclesall, in which my wife and I, and many others, participated over many years. That I had played all of Haydn’s string quartets before going to university, and developed my otherwise mediocre sight-reading capabilities to one of relative competence is largely owe-able to Pam! She was a keen advocate of the erstwhile adult and continuing education chamber music course at Keele University, and few things gave her more pleasure than playing classical chamber works for the purest of reasons: their external admiration, and internal contemplation.

Further to this, Pam’s sense of community was also very substantial: she advocated and attended numerous concerts in the locality, worked as a volunteer for Ecclesall Woods, and was a long-standing member of Holy Trinity Church, Millhouses.

In her long life, in which she remained active and intellectually engaged to the very end, Mrs Price touched the lives of many. She will be sadly missed. As a musician born and bred in Sheffield, her former student and godson, I think it is not inappropriate that, on behalf of music in the City of Sheffield, I offer my condolences on behalf of us all to the family at this sad time.

Dr David Milsom

Senior Lecturer, Music, University of Huddersfield,

Violinist, Teacher, Scholar-performer

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