Thursday 17 May 2012
We report with great sadness the death on Saturday 12 May 2012 of Hubert Dawkes, a much loved and highly respected keyboard professor at the RCM from 1946 to 1987, where he taught Keyboard Harmony, Ensemble Piano and Accompaniment.
Though principally remembered as an organist and pianist, especially as an outstanding continuo player for many of The Bach Choir’s performances over several decades, he also played violin and viola. Less well known were Hubert’s accomplishments as musician in the era of silent films when, it is reported, he would occasionally provide a bass for a waltz in octaves on the piano while playing a melody on the trumpet with his right hand!
Born in 1916, Hubert studied organ at Winchester Cathedral and, encouraged by George Dyson, applied to the RCM. He entered the RCM as a Scholar in September 1935, remaining until December 1938. An outstanding student, he was awarded the Wesley Exhibition, the Kenneth Bruce Stuart Prize and the Bruce Scholarship in 1936. In 1937, he was awarded the Arthur Normand Prize and the Tagore Medal and, in 1938, the Walter Parratt Prize. He was appointed FRCM in 1968.
While teaching on National Youth Orchestra courses, Hubert met his future wife Joan who was then personal assistant to Ruth Railton, founder and director of the NYO for many years. He is remembered by generations of students for his inspired teaching, outstanding musicianship, professionalism and great sense of humour. He will be much missed by all who knew and worked with him.