Wednesday 4 January 2012
We are sorry to report the death on 2 January of Alan Rowlands.
Alan was a piano professor at the RCM for many years, where his love of English music, particularly Vaughan Williams, Delius and Ireland, encouraged a generation of young pianists to explore this interesting repertoire.
Following seven distinguished years at Oxford as a chemist, Alan eventually gave in to his first love – music – and won a scholarship to the RCM to study with Angus Morrison. He recorded Ireland's complete piano music at the request of the composer. Five LPs were issued and followed by three of Ireland's songs and these pioneering recordings of the 1960s and 1970s were finally issued on CD in 2008.
Conductor John Wilson, RCM alumnus, was a close friend of Alan. “I met Alan at my entrance audition in 1990. I played terribly but he convinced the panel to take me and said I would turn out to be a 'useful musician'. We enjoyed a friendship which lasted from my very first day at college until his death. I learned SO much from him and had so many happy and hilarious times with him.”
Head of Keyboard Professor Vanessa Latarche also remembers him well. "His knowledge of English piano music was enormous, and with his passing we have lost one of the greatest champions of this repertoire. Alan will be sorely missed; his memories will be cherished by us all – professors, past and present students at the RCM.”