We received the news of Richard Chester’s death with profound sadness. In his capacity as Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, he visited me to talk about a project that involved combining youth organisations across Europe, choirs and orchestras. Why, we mused, was there not a National Youth Choir of Scotland to join the myriad of youth choirs from elsewhere in Europe?
Motivated by that conversation, when in late 1995 I gathered a body of people to form a working party to discuss it, we were happy to have Richard join that group, and subsequently the newly formed board. The organisation that is NYCOS today owes much to him, his calm thoughtfulness, his flair for strategic planning and his connections with so many musical and political people.
Richard’s place in history is recorded as a player in the RSNO, and latterly one of the chief strategists for youth music in Scotland. I and thousands of young singers in Scotland will be forever grateful that he planted the seeds in my mind that led to the formation of NYCOS.
On behalf of NYCOS, we send his family heartfelt condolences.