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OSO Soloist: Martin Milner

Martin Milner, who has died aged 72, was an outstanding musician and a brilliant leader of the Hallé Orchestra, whose contribution to the musical life of Manchester, and the many other towns and cities in which he performed, is unlikely to be equalled.

Born in Bolton in 1928, he began to study violin at the age of seven. He studied with Henry Holst in Manchester for eight years, and later in Denmark with Emil Telmanyi. In 1946 he became a member of Sir Thomas Beecham's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra first-violin section. Subsequently, he joined the staff of the Royal Manchester College of Music and taught there for ten years. He joined the Hallé as leader in October 1958, having been chosen by Sir John Barbirolli to succeed Laurance Turner. Since then he had been in the first desk for literally thousands of concerts both in the United Kingdom and abroad. In October 1978 he was presented with the Halle gold medal for 20 years' service. He appeared as soloist on many occasions, and as a conductor he directed many of the Halle Orchestra's Manchester Schools concerts. His recording of Massenet's Meditation (from Thais) on CFP's best selling LP Halle Encore has been acclaimed.

He continued to hold the position with great distinction under Sir John's successors, James Loughran and Stanislav Skrowaczewski, until he retired in the summer of 1987 after 29 years, a significantly longer period than any other leader in the orchestra's 140-year history.

When time permitted, he enjoyed watching all sport, and was a keen snooker player.

Concerts where Martin Milner played:

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