Obituary: Peter Lloyd 1931–2018

The LSO is sad to hear of the death of Peter Lloyd, former Principal Flute, on Sunday 15 April 2018. He was 86 years old.

Peter joined the LSO in 1967 as Principal Flute, committing 20 years of his distinguished career to the Orchestra. But his first position was at the (now Royal) Scottish National Orchestra as Second Flute, where he realised that his technique was not up to scratch. 'There I was sitting with my old wooden flute, listening to the way these people could play – the technique and the colours and what they wanted to do with the music.' he said in an interview with Robert Bigio. He took a career break and began lessons with legendary flute pedagogue Fernand Caratgé. It was an experience that would shape his future, later taking further breaks to study with Geoffrey Gilbert, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Marcel Moyse.

After positions with the BBC Northern Orchestra (now BBC Philharmonic) and the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, the LSO tempted Peter down to London to become Principal Flute. He became a visiting professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and performed and recorded with several chamber ensembles including the Tuckwell Wind Quintet, London Virtuosi and English Taskin Players. His time in the LSO coincided with the period in which the Orchestra was recording numerous film scores with John Williams, and many of John's flute parts were written with Peter's sound in mind.

Peter Lloyd2 Susie Maeder

It was studying with Geoffrey Gilbert – who also introduced Peter to teaching at the Guildhall School – that gave Peter his motivation to devote his time to teaching. 'I said, "Look, Geoffrey, I really need to consider giving up the teaching." He [Gilbert] said, "No!" He said, "It is your duty to give back to the next generation what you have taken from mine. You must remember that you have a responsibility to your students, and they are quite as important – if not more important – than you are."' This led Peter to leave the LSO for a new focus to his career as a professor at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, where he spent six years before returning to Manchester to take up a similar post at the Royal Northern College of Music in the early 90s. He remained there until his retirement in 2012, teaching generations of flute students, and giving masterclasses and recitals throughout the world.

There are many flute players around the world who have been taught and inspired by Peter Lloyd – as can be witnessed on this Facebook fan page! – and he will be greatly missed by the whole flute-playing community as well as everyone in the LSO. We send our condolences to his family and friends at this sad time.

Photos: Suzie Maeder