Louis Carus, a leading figure in the international classical music world and former head of Birmingham Conservatoire, has died at the age of 84.
Mr Carus was a renowned violinist and played a leading role in the creation of Birmingham’s Adrian Boult Hall, a 520-seat auditorium with outstanding acoustics, which can accommodate a symphony orchestra.
Born in Kasauli in India on October 22 1927, the son of Lt Col Martin and Enid Carus-Wilson, he was a music scholar (violin) at Rugby School and later studied at the Brussels Conservatoire with Dubois and Grumiaux.
Mr Carus completed his professional training with William Kroll at the Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore in the USA. It was while there he met his future wife Nancy.
In 1950 he joined the Scottish National Orchestra as a violinist. The following year he married Nancy Read Noell and the couple had two sons and a daughter.
In 1955 Mr Carus became head of strings at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (later the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow) and combined teaching with solo recitals, concertos and chamber music.
He played a key role in the development of chamber music in Scotland, co-founding the Scottish Trio, the Scottish Piano Quartet, Clarina Ensemble and the New Music Group of Scotland (1956/75).
He was also a leader of Northern Sinfonia, sub-leader of the Monteverdi Orchestra (1963/73) and associate leader of Orchestra da Camera (1975).
In September 1975 Mr Carus was appointed principal/dean of the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire) where he founded the Granville Ensemble, and helped develop the school’s graduate courses and buildings, including the Adrian Boult Hall.
Both before and after retirement Mr Carus was active with various organisations, including the Incorporated Society of Musicians, of which he was president in 1986/87; a council member, chairman and vice-president of the European String Teachers’ Association, and representative of the British Council when visiting the USSR.
He took early retirement in 1987, but continued to be active both in Britain and abroad as a teacher, performer, examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, a governor of the Elgar School of Music, and trustee of several musical bodies including the Gloucester Academy of Music and Performing Arts (GAMPA); the Elgar School of Music and Elgar Centre for English Music.
Mr Carus was also a consultant to the Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme, which he helped to develop, a member of the UK Centre for Music Education and Training, a council member of the National Chamber Music for Schools Competition Trust, Quaternion (artistic director) and Rotary International.
He was awarded a fellowship of the Royal College of Music in 1983 and a Birmingham School of Music/Conservatoire honorary fellowship in 1988.
Chamber music was his special love, and he continued performing and playing the violin almost up to his death. His last “public” performance was given at a Rotary dinner in June 2012.
He was a keen member of Rotary for many years, both in the Midlands and in Glasgow.
Professor David Saint, acting principal of Birmingham Conservatoire, said: “I was so sorry to hear of the death of Louis Carus. He was a cultured musician and a delightful man who did so much for Birmingham Conservatoire and for young musicians everywhere.
“I well remember his excitement as we came to build the Adrian Boult Hall in the mid 1980s – a project which would not have been realised without his leadership and infectious enthusiasm.”
Mr Carus died in Glasgow on August 19.