HUMPHREYS, Sydney Ernest September 26, 1926 - February 16, 2015 After a long, distinguished, and fruitful career in music, Sydney Humphreys has reached his final cadence. Born in Chilliwack, BC, Sydney was gentle, patient, and kind - loved by all who knew him. He maintained complete focus and attention to detail in everything he undertook from photography, to tailoring, to learning the latest electronics. He had a curious mind and a voracious appetite for continuous learning. Sydney was a prodigious young violinist, winning a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London. It was there that he would eventually become a professor and a celebrated performer of chamber music. He had a profound passion, commitment, and energy for his craft. For example, in 1970, Sydney performed the seemingly insurmountable task of playing all of Beethoven's quartets and trios multiple times to celebrate the composer's bicentenary. As an integral member of the Aeolian String Quartet, Bath Festival Orchestra with Yehudi Menuhin, Trio Victoria, Purcell String Quartet and Concert Master of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, he travelled the world to spread joy through music. Upon the invitation of Robin Wood, Sydney returned to Canada in the 1970s to take a position as the Head of the Strings department at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, which he held for over thirty years. As a teacher, Sydney mentored his students to the full realization of their unique potential. As Jonathan Crow, a former student and now concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony said: "Many teachers can tell you how to play the violin, but few can help you to discover your own voice." That was Sydney's genius; that is his legacy. "If music be the food of love, play on." Sydney's music plays on, literally and metaphorically, in his students around the world, in the hearts and minds of his loving family in Victoria; wife, Mary, son, Max/Carolyn, daughter, Atarah/Felipe and granddaughter Siena, and in all his friends who loved him. Donations and many grateful thanks to the Alzheimer's Society of BC (www.alzheimer.ca/bc
) and to the excellent and caring staff of the Glengarry Hospital, Chandler Unit, of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation (www.gvef.org
). Tribute concert date to be announced. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccallbros.com.
Published by Victoria Times Colonist from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2015.