(1910 - 1997)
Joseph Saxby was born 3rd January 1910, the son of Russian violinist Mikhail Zakharevich (Michael Zacharewitsch) (1878/9-1953), who had been a student of Sevcik and Ysaye, and American Joan Saxby. At the age of 15, and already showing a precocious talent, he toured America as his father's accompanist. A pupil of Adela Hamaton, he went on to study under Hubert Fryer at The Royal College of Music, London. Joseph used his mother's surname to avoid confusion with his father. He went on to accompany John McCormack, the famous Irish tenor, on his farewell tour of America. In 1932, when Joseph was 22, he met Carl Dolmetsch, who was playing the recorder for a production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at The Oxford Playhouse. Joseph was playing the virginals. Turning then to the harpsichord he studied with Arnold Dolmetsch and joining Carl Dolmetsch launched their celebrated musical partnership which was to see 40 annual Wigmore Hall recitals, 20 coast-to-coast American tours, as well as tours of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, North and South America, Alaska, Canada and Europe. Joseph will always be remembered as an ebullient, convivial, extrovert punster, a wonderful foil to Dr. Carl with whom he enjoyed 60 rich years of music. To many Haslemere residents his role as accompanist in countless pantomimes and his devoted work as organist at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church , Haslemere, will be of particular note. Latterly, Joseph retired in Haslemere but continued to make music until a few weeks of his death. Dr. Carl Dolmetsch died a few weeks after Joseph.