Christopher Quentin was the first person I met when I came to audition at RCM in the freezing February of 2018\. He was stewarding and his appearance struck me immediately: a tall handsome guy, with his wide blue eyes glaring at you and that million dollar smile. I remember how he shook my hand and made me want to put my overthinking aside and focus on my audition.
After receiving the offer, Chris was extremely supportive, from far, with all my questions about the course, funding and accommodation. When I started the course, I, typically, had health issues before even having my health insurance sorted: I will always remember the hours he spent with me on the first day of school making sure a GP would see me as soon as possible. Then and always he has done everything he could to be a good colleague, advise me and tip me off about things and people I would not find out as soon otherwise. I hope I managed to be half as good colleague as he was to me.
His hard work in classes was phenomenal. His ability to absorb and learn was amazing, and the respect he paid to his professors and musicians was remarkable. As mentioned, you would usually see him barefoot with socks in all colours, having a metronome in hand, very pedantic about tempo markings, and a note book to write down all the gems people sometimes say but we have the tendency to forget after a while.
I was very lucky to share many moments with him beside sharing the stage and classrooms: travelling to Croydon which brought loads of funny or personal topics to chat about, tea & brownies with Sindre Øgaard at their flat in PCV, drinks on my birthday and yoga sessions. Thanks for pushing me to take Alexander Technique, and for inspiring everyone about well-being, sport, nutrition and mental health; Thanks for every single office hour which took ages to schedule, but every second of it was worth it big time!
Chris, last year you had to miss your final exams, when you inspiringly and nobly prioritised your family over your self. When you told me earlier this year that it meant we would be graduating together, I thought: “I am so honoured, such a pleasure for both of us not to graduate on our own as planned.” When graduation was postponed to October I was thinking about you: “Poor Chris, he must be looking forward to it so much”. And now… I am just speechless.
I have read dozens of touching posts from dear people who all mentioned what impact you have made on their lives. Some words kept repeating: eyes, smile, selflessness, care, inspiration, passion. I have met all kinds of people in my life. Some are driven by motive, some are driven by will. Some are driven by pressure, others by habit. Some are driven by gravity and some are driven by nothing really. Most of the musicians I know are, in one way or another, most of the time, driven by passion. But you, Chris, are different: EVERYTHING you do in life is driven by strong, irresistible passion. And you never kept it exclusively to yourself, you shared it generously with everyone, knowing it would not run out. It was, and will always be, contagious.
In a way, you never really liked me being an emotional person. Yet I will say the following things: 1\. Walking down the Farinelli/Corelli corridor, where your glorious poster is hanging, will never feel the same. 2\. No one, NO ONE, will ever be able to replace your huge tight loving hugs and what they have meant to me.
I will miss you terribly.