The early music community is mourning the loss of Richard Campbell, best known as a founder member of leading viol consort Fretwork. According to his obituary in the Guardian, Campbell died unexpectedly at his home in Cornwall last week at the age of 55. His death came as Fretwork was in the middle of a UK tour of Bach's Goldberg Variations in which Campbell was not involved.

Campbell, who was professor of viola da gamba and violone at the Royal Academy of Music in London, co-founded Fretwork 25 years ago. He had studied classics at Cambridge but decided against a career as a Latin teacher. Fretwork has won acclaim for its recordings of the classic English viol repertoire, and has explored a wide range of music ranging from Bach to Shostakovich. The ensemble also frequently performs contemporary and new music for viols.

Campbell was a founding member of Jakob Lindberg's Dowland Consort, Philip Pickett's Musicians of the Globe and Charles Humphries's ensemble Kontrabande. He played as gamba soloist or principal cellist with ensembles including the Northern Sinfonia, the orchestra of The Sixteen, Ex Cathedra, the City of London Sinfonia, St James's Baroque Players, Florilegium, and Paul McCreesh's Gabrieli Players.