Bobby

Although Alexander 'Bobby' Kok is no longer with us this website remains as a source of information about his life and music.

Alexander Kok, born 1926 in Brakpan, Transvaal, had his first cello lessons in South Africa and then won a music scholarship in 1941 to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

In his early teens he contributed to the family budget by playing popular music of the day in tearoom bands or in Theatreland's entr'acte orchestras. There were also dates with the Jacques String Orchestra and with the Boyd Neel. In 1943 he joined ENSA, and in October 1945 he took part in the first public concert of the recently founded Philharmonia Orchestra of London, of which he became sub-principal Cellist two years later.

Although the Philharmonia had a busy schedule of recordings and concerts, Bobby was, for short periods between 1947 and 1949, given leave of absence to have lessons with Pierre Fournier and Pablo Casals. Then, after two years as a member of staff at Dartington, he was appointed Principal Cellist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

He travelled widely in Britain and abroad, and met many interesting artists and personalities in what is usually, if not quite accurately, called the World of Classical Music. His experience of what is, again not quite accurately, called the Commercial Music Industry (recordings of Pop Star concerts, TV and cinema film music) has been equally extensive.

Bobby was also regarded by many as an extraordinary, talented and inspirational teacher. He was responsible for fostering a love of music and cello playing in his students and remained, to the end, really rather humble about this.