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Colin Cooper, Editor of Classical Guitar, Dies at 86

Posted By Connie Sheu, Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 2, 2012

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Colin Cooper, Editor of Classical Guitar magazine in London. Colin was a pervasive voice in the guitar world, regularly interviewing artists and writing columns for Classical Guitar. He suffered a massive stroke on the evening of August 24, 2012 and was rushed immediately to the hospital. Colin died shortly after with his family at his side. More details regarding funeral services are forthcoming.

Born in Birkenhead, England in 1926, Colin Cooper was a WWII veteran, an amateur violinist, a playwright and novelist, an avid golfer, and a guitarist. He worked for a steel construction company after he was released from military service in 1947 while beginning his career as a writer. Fascinated by human dialogue, he settled into playwriting and wrote various dramas for BBC radio while working on his novels.

Colin first encountered the guitar through the BBC's airplay of Segovia's early recordings. He began teaching himself guitar in 1962 as a break from long hours at the typewriter, and later took lessons with Dave Alcock and George Clinton. He eventually began teaching guitar himself, both privately and at the London Education Authority's Adult Education. In 1972, Colin and George Clinton founded Guitar magazine. Around the same time, Colin started a printing business called Alley Press, wrote a monthly column for the Japanese guitar magazine, Gendai Guitar, and continued teaching.

In 1982, Colin became full-time News Editor for Classical Guitar, a new magazine which he joined Maurice Summerfield in founding. Colin devoted himself to this endeavor with all his energy, along with his fellow colleagues John Duarte, Graham Wade, Neil Smith, and Harvey Hope. He was called on frequently as an adjudicator at international guitar competitions; he also lectured on British guitar history and continued teaching while working for the magazine. He once wrote, "It might be fair to say that I am a writer who was seduced by the power of music and became its servant rather than its master."

At the age of 82, Colin wrote his first book about music, Did They Like Me?, published by Doberman-Yppan in Montreal. He is survived by his wife Maureen, his two sons, Dan and Ben, and his grandson Joe.

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