Five members of the same family gather in Sheffield to take part in a concert in memory of their parents

Five members of the same family have travelled from all over the world to sing at a concert in memory of their parents.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 12:38 pm
Alexandrina (Andy) and Bernard Ginsborg, who died in 2013 and 2018.

The family sang at the Brahms Requiem with Sheffield Bach Choir in Sheffield Cathedral earlier this month.

The concert was sponsored by Jane Ginsborg, professor of music psychology at the Royal Northern College of Music, in tribute to her mum Alexandrina Ginsborg , known as Andy, who died in 2013, and her dad Bernard Ginsborg, who died in 2018.

Jane said: “At their own request, no funeral or memorial service was held for them. They were great music lovers, however, so we decided what better way to celebrate their lives than with a concert?”

Jane’s sister Hannah, a philosopher, who sang in the choir made the biggest commute to attend. She flew in from Oakland, California, via Berlin, where she recently performed the Requiem with her local choir.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jane’s son Leo, a concert pianist, travelled from London, where he accompanies the Forest Choir in Walthamstow. He and his sister Ruth, who plays and teaches violin and piano and is the Bach choir’s own accompanist, joined Jane and Hannah to sing with the choir.

Jane’s husband George Nicholson, professor of composition at the University of Sheffield, was also there to support, not only as Andy and Bernard’s son-in-law but also as President of Sheffield Bach Society.

Jane added: “My mother claimed she couldn’t sing, but my father had a wonderful singing voice, which he used at home in the traditional songs of Jewish festivals.

“So it’s great that my sister and I, and Leo and Ruth have come together to sing with the Bach Choir in their memory.”

Andy and Bernard were the grand-daughter and son of immigrants from Eastern Europe. They met at Reading University, where she studied economics and psychology, and he studied physics. They were keen concert-goers.

Jane said: “We would often go with our parents to concerts at the Usher Hall, Edinbugh, following scores while we listened to the music.

"There were trips to Glasgow to see Scottish Opera, and we went to the Edinburgh Festival every year, a tradition George and I have kept up ever since. Music was one of the most precious gifts our parents gave us and we are so grateful to have been able to pass it on to our children too.”