TRIBUTE TO GWYN SEYMOUR (1949-2016) AND THE ABOYNE CELLO FESTIVAL FROM THE SEYMOUR FAMILY – JULY 2020.
Gwyn was born into the South Wales mining community with its legendary music through its choirs and from an early age became passionate about classical music. He learned to play the piano as a young child but in school wanted to master a second instrument. Gwyn found that all available ones had been picked except for a cello – so cello it was going to be. By 13, he was playing in the Pontypridd District Orchestra and later graduated to the Welsh National Youth Orchestra.
Sadly, after leaving school, the journey to become a senior doctor left no opportunity to play music with others. However, twenty six years later, when Gwyn was appointed as the first Professor of Medicine for the Elderly at the University of Aberdeen everything changed. He arranged cello lessons with James (Halsey), joined the Learig Orchestra, and with two excellent amateur musicians and great friends helped to found the Newhills Piano Trio. He started arranging pieces for them for public recitals and found this new aspect of making music very enjoyable. Gwyn was alerted to the existence of the Aboyne Cello Festival and immediately signed up yearly to attend. With James’ support he also took on the task of arranging music for the cello orchestra. He relished the challenge and showed exceptional talent. He enjoyed every moment he spent with fellow cellists from all over the world, regarding this week as the highlight of his musical year.
Gwyn put his musical heart and soul into the cello arrangements and those of us who knew him could tell this when listening to the Aboyne performances. However, soon after his death, his daughter arranged for 33 pieces to be made freely available online through the music arrangements library IMSLP. From the wonderful comments we have received from across the globe (UK, Brazil, Texas, Ohio, Austria and Germany to quote but a few) we realised that complete strangers who are cellists can hear this too.
Sending good wishes in these difficult Covid times from all the Seymour family to the Aboyne Festival and to James, and thanks to all for helping Gwyn awake a sleeping talent he never knew he had.