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sad death of Roger Nicholson


Roger Nicholson remembered


It is with a heavy heart that I write of my friend Roger’s death yesterday afternoon.  Curiously I thought of him around that time, out of the blue.  Roger was the foremost exponent of the mountain dulcimer in the UK and his original compositions and transcriptions of lute tunes have yet to be surpassed on the dulcimer.  He recorded several vinyl albums and made seven trips to the USA - the man and his music were very well respected among the leading US players. 


I first met Roger in his (then) North London home back in the 70’s when I was a University Student – his instruments, recordings and TAB notation were an inspiration to me at that time.  We met again around twenty years later and the friendship that ensued resulted in us undertaking a US tour together to Boston and the Adirondacks, in up-state New York.  Around that time Roger and I worked up a number of dulcimer duets, a couple of which were recorded on my Spirit Dancing CD in 1997.  Since then we have kept in touch and I have often been with him to Ealing Guitar Society – a friendly guitar club, local to Roger’s (later) West London home.  Roger was involved in running the club for some years and I have many memories of seeing him and playing there too.
A few years ago Roger had a heart attack during a trip to Damascus.  He subsequently had operations on his heart and has since been on a grueling regime of dialysis for kidney failure.  He never fully recovered from his heart condition and in recent months his health deteriorated.  I am advised that he received the best possible medical treatment.  He passed away peacefully in hospital yesterday afternoon with his family around him.  What I remember is his indomitable spirit, his keen interest in all things dulcimer & guitar and his kindness to me and interest in my own music career.  His life will be celebrated and his music will live on.


This image of Roger taken circa 1972 is published with kind permission from Celtic Music.

 Roger Nicholson c1972

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