The British violinist was 63

Jackie Hartley cr Philip Taylor

Photo: Philip Taylor

Jackie Hartley

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A violinist who performed in numerous orchestras and musical theatre productions, Jackie Hartley has died of cancer, aged 63.

Hartley was born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, where she began her violin studies during primary school. She went on to study with Howard Davis of the Alberni Quartet and received a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London. There she studied violin and piano, and later harpsichord, and formed the Hartley Piano Trio.

Hartley graduated from RAM in 1982, becoming principal second violin of the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1984.

Over the next decade, Hartley performed with numerous ensembles, including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble. She served as assistant leader of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and sub-leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, before going on to co-lead the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) in 1998, by the invitation of Sir Simon Rattle. She remained in the post for seven years.

In addition to her orchestral career, Hartley performed in many bands and orchestras accompanying London musical theatre productions, including Miss Saigon, Anything Goes, Aspects of Love, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She also led The Lion King, Follies, Evita and The Phantom of the Opera. As a session musician, Hartley performed on numerous soundtracks for television, film and pop music, including with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios.

From 2005 she and her husband Kevin Dennett moved to Kent with their two children. She taught at many schools, including RAM and the Royal College of Music.

’It is her unfailing humour, humility and kindness that will be remembered, and that sustained her, and all those around her,’ said Dennett in the Guardian. ’Jackie was widely loved and admired in the music profession, and by everyone who met her.’

Hartley is survived by Dennett, their two children, a grandson, and by a brother and a sister.

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