In memoriam

Founded in 1738 by Georg Frederic Handel with 200 members, The Royal Society of Musicians has grown today to more than 2,000 music professionals throughout the UK. Here, we remember those who have recently passed. To pay tribute to a Member here, please contact [email protected]

Rachel Godlee, viola (1931-2023), Member since 1999, died on 1 February 2023, aged 91

Rachel was a great female pioneer in the profession in her early career – often the only woman on sessions. She was a member of The Hallé (under Barbirolli) and then played regularly with the Philharmonia until her career was tragically cut short by a car accident. Remarkably, she played the Enescu viola sonata with the composer when she was studying in Paris in the 1950s. A lifelong crossword enthusiast, she continued to complete the Telegraph crossword every day with her twin brother, Richard, (by phone!) until his death a couple of years ago.

Fiona Grant MBE