Tribute to Horsham musician and architect Brian Harmsworth

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Brian Harmsworth - a familiar figure in Horsham - has died, days after his 96th birthday on November 12.

Brian moved to Horsham with his parents, Walter Harmsworth and Grace Humphery, in 1939. He was the youngest of four children of very musical parents, and had already won numerous cups in local festivals for the piano and the cello.

His mother, a concert pianist, started a concert series, the foundation of the Horsham Music Society, with which Brian was hugely involved, eventually succeeding her as artists’ secretary for ten years.

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His two sisters had both gone to study at the Royal College of Music, but Brian chose to pursue a career as an architect, training and working in London, while at the same time playing cello in an orchestra to which he became secretary, and taking a college diploma for piano performance.

Brian HarmsworthBrian Harmsworth
Brian Harmsworth

In 1958 he left London to practice architecture in Horsham, took a music teaching degree and started teaching piano part-time at Christ’s Hospital, as he did for some 30 years, alongside working as an architect, first in partnership with John Morton, and then by merger in the firm of Godman and Kay.

For 20 years, Brian enjoyed working as consultant srchitect to the Civil Service Benevolent Fund and the wide travel that involved.

His passions for music and architecture carried through into his non-working life, with much visiting of historic houses, and particular relish for the Edinburgh Festival, Glyndebourne Opera, the Leeds International Piano Festival and Buxton Opera House.

But he felt deeply committed to Horsham, serving not only the Music Circle, but the Tennis Club and the Horsham Society of which he was secretary for seven years.

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