Musicians perform for horn legend on 100th birthday

Farquharson Cousins, centre, celebrating his 100th birthday with his daughter Jane Diment, front right, and members of the Vienna Horns Scotland, some of which he taught. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170856-1
Farquharson Cousins, centre, celebrating his 100th birthday with his daughter Jane Diment, front right, and members of the Vienna Horns Scotland, some of which he taught. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170856-1

Legendary horn player Farquharson Cousins has celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends.

A party was held at Hollymead House, in Downview Road, Bognor Regis, yesterday.

Many musicians were there for the celebrations and members of the Vienna Horns of Scotland, some of which he taught, played a few pieces for him, including Happy Birthday.

Daughter Jane Diment said: “The party went exceptionally well, with Daddy enjoying seeing so many of his horn colleagues, and talking about old times. He was on very good form.”

Mr Cousins was born in Bristol on April 24, 1917, to Cannon Alfred Cousins, a pastor on the Somme in World War One, and Margaret Cousins, née Mackay.

He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and Selwyn College, Oxford, before choosing a career in music.

He served with the Welsh Guards as a horn player in the World War Two and was a member of the orchestra in Kharki, which was formed especially to provide music to entertain and inspire the troops.

In 1945, Mr Cousins married Mary Wright, a fellow musician. They went on to have one daughter and Mr Cousins now has two granddaughters and five great grandchildren.

Mr Cousins became principal horn player in Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1946. He then went on to play for the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra from 1947 to 1948, Scottish Orchestra in 1949, Scottish National Orchestra from 1950 to 1960, BBC Scottish Orchestra from 1961 to 1967 and Capetown Symphony Orchestra from 1969 to 1971.

Mr Cousins served as Staff Sergeant, band master and music librarian in the South African Defence Corps from 1971 to 1982, coaching the South Africans to play military brass instruments.

Jane added: “During this period, if the truth be told, he played a lot of golf!”

When Mr Cousins returned to the UK, he wrote his book, On Playing the Horn. The first edition was published in 1983, revised in 1992. It is a much-respected work among horn players.

He has also written four novels, the most recent being Blood on the Baton, a murder mystery published in 2013.

Mr Cousins lived in Buxton, Derbyshire, for six years after he retired, then moved to Harrow-on-the-Hill for more than 20 years.

More recently, he was with Jane in Chichester before moving to Hollymead House.

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