Adrian Thorne obituary

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Guildhall School is deeply saddened to hear of the sudden death of Professor of Academic Studies, Adrian Thorne, over the Christmas period.

Adrian Thorne with his family
Adrian Thorne with his family

For over 50 years, Adrian was a most highly-regarded and much-loved member of Guildhall School’s community, from his time as a student to staff member. Having graduated from the School as a postgraduate in piano, musical analysis and conducting in 1969, Adrian immediately took up a teaching position, initially as a tutor at Guildhall, and then in 1970 he became a Professor of Academic Music.

From then on, he has been hugely valued as a dedicated member of the Academic Studies Department, bringing legendary insights and perspectives into his musical analysis and history teaching, aural training, and stylistic-composition lessons. Undoubtedly, Adrian has now, significantly, influenced several generations of students in their development and understanding. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 1976. Adrian was the son of Gordon Thorne, Principal of Guildhall School from 1959 to 1965.

A man of enormous skill and expertise, Guildhall’s students, staff, and alumni have paid tribute to Adrian’s extraordinarily unique teaching skills and ways, his gentle nature, and boundless generosity with his time. Our thoughts are with his family.

A small intimate funeral is being planned, with a larger Thanksgiving, memorial event envisaged once COVID-restrictions are lifted for appropriate planning to take place. Students, staff, and alumni who wish to send condolences to the Thorne family should contact the Music Department for details.