Colin Sauer


Colin Sauer was born in 1924. As a wartime evacuee from his home town of Ilford, Essex, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. He first performed concertos for violin there under the baton of Sir Henry Wood. He was later honoured by the R.A.M. when he was awarded a Fellowship.

Since then he enjoyed a very long and successful career in both orchestral and chamber music. His most important work was in leading the Dartington String Quartet, founded in 1957, which quickly became well known in the South West of England, but before long acquired a national reputation due to its regular broadcasts on both radio and television, and also in Europe (most especially in Germany) where the Quartet toured. During his leadership of the Dartington Quartet, which lasted for over twenty two years, Colin played the Kustendyke Stradivarius violin lent to him by the Royal Academy of Music.

Subsequently, Colin played with the world-famous Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, touring extensively with them in many countries. He also led the orchestra on a number of occasions at the Royal Festival Hall and overseas.

After his marriage to Brenda in 1953, Colin moved to Devon to take up a post as Senior Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music at Dartington Hall. They have six children, all musically talented, and for several years, while all the children lived at home, the family of eight performed together as an ensemble. The group gave many recitals in South West England including a television appearance in which Kathy Sauer played both violin and piano at the age of five.

His recollections of the Coates recording are vague: he recalls that the BBC commission followed a broadcast performance, also with the BBC Northern Orchestra and Charles Groves, of the concerto by Ronald Smith. Subsequently, Colin played a number of classical concertos with the various BBC orchestras. Colin Sauer died on January 9, 12015 at the age of 90.