The core of the Becker Orchestra is The Becker Quartet which was formed by four members of the professional music teaching staff of the Royal Marines School of Music when the School was based in Deal. The name ‘Becker’ was taken as a tribute to a fellow Professor of Violin at the Music School, Lew Becker, who died only a few months before the quartet formed in 1988. Members of the Becker Orchestra are busy with orchestral, recording, teaching and writing careers, but they maintain an annual series of concerts in Sandwich where they are ‘Musicians in Residence’. Over the years the quartet has expanded to include wind, brass and percussion instruments, incorporating other professional musicians who work with the London orchestras and opera companies, but live, or have connections in the South East. This allows high quality orchestral music to be played through the summer months when our base moves from Sandwich Guildhall to (the very beautiful) St Mary’s Church; a ‘redundant’ church managed by The Churches Conservation Trust.
Our principal aim is to bring high-quality classical music to this part of Kent at affordable prices, giving the residents of this area access to leading classical musicians and performances only available usually in the metropolitan cities. Our secondary aim is to encourage and foster interest in the younger population of this area who, ordinarily, would never get to see a professional orchestra ‘live’ in concert.
The original Becker Quartet - pictured in 2004
Violins: John Perkins & George Simpson
Viola: Jane Browne, Cello: John Cullis