Rowsby Woof

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Edward Rowsby Woof (18 January 1883 – 31 December 1943) was an English violinist and music educator. He was born in Coalbrookdale, son of Edward Woof and his wife Sarah (née Rowsby). He became professor of violin at the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM) in London, and wrote instructional works on violin technique and violin studies. Among his pupils were Nona Liddell, William Waterhouse, Frederick Grinke, Jean Pougnet, Priaulx Rainier, Rosemary Rapaport, Sidney Griller, Peter Mountain, Colin Sauer and Felix Kok.


From information in prospectuses of the Royal Academy of Music.[1]

  • Violin sub-professor: 1904-1905

Woof was awarded the Royal Academy of Music's Bronze Metal for Violin in 1904,[2] the Silver Metal for Violin in 1905,[3] and the Dove Prize in 1906.[4] In 1907, he made his debut at Bechstein Hall (now Wigmore Hall).[5]

  • Violin professor: 1909-1939
  • Viola professor: 1912-1939
  • Ensemble playing classes: 1914-1923


Rowsby Woof married Victoria Mary Fox, a music teacher, in 1911. He died at St. Andrew's Hospital in Dollis Hill, London in 1943.[6]


The Rowsby Woof Prize for Royal Academy of Music violin students, founded by his wife in 1944, was awarded annually in the years 1945 to 1963. The Prize Board listing the awardees was added to the RAM Museum's collection in 2011. Recipients include Colin Sauer (1945), Clarence Myerscough (1952), Brendan O' Reilly (1956) and John Georgiadis (1959) of the Gabrieli String Quartet, and Roy Malan (1963), founding councertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.[7]

Rowsby Woof is listed in the Musicians' Book of Remembrance in the Musician's Chapel at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in London.[8]

Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, once found his young daughter in tears over her violin lesson, a piece by Rowsby Woof. Stating, "I'll fix it for you; I'll put him in the story," he added a story about a gullible dog guarding lettuce in a garden and named the dog Rowsby Woof.[9] The story became Chapter 41 of the book, "Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog."

Selected works[edit]


  • Diamond Jubilee, children's song, words by S. R. W.,[10] R.Cocks & Co.: London [1897]
  • Reverie, for violin & piano, C. Woodhouse: London, 1909
  • Little Waltz in first position, for violin & piano, C. Woodhouse: London, 1910
  • Scherzo, for violin & piano, C. Woodhouse: London, 1910
  • Scherzo, for piano, Cary & Co.: London, 1912
  • Swinging, for violin & piano, Cary & Co.: London, 1913
  • Forsaken, for violin & piano. Cary & Co.: London, 1914
  • The North Wind, for violin & piano, J. Williams: London, 1919
  • A Romp, for violin & piano, J. Williams: London, 1919
  • Four Fancies, for violin & piano. I Caprice II Romance III Minuet IV In church, Anglo-French Music Co.: London, 1920
  • Valse Capriccio, for violin & piano, J. Williams: London, 1927


  • Bach, J. S.: Largo and Allegro, arr. violin & piano
  • Paganini, N. Caprice, arr. violin & piano [1922]
  • Geminiani, F.: Sonata Op.4 No. 10, Two Minuets [1927]

Instructional works

  • The First Position Six short pieces for beginners for violin. Anglo-French Music Co.: London, 1910
  • Technique and Interpretation in Violin-playing [1920] ISBN 978-1-406-79686-5
  • Thirty Studies of Moderate Difficulty for Violin ISBN 978-1-854-72080-1
  • Fifty Elementary Studies for Violin ISBN 978-1-854-72401-4
  • Official book of Scales and Arpeggios for the Violin ed. R. Woof, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music: London, 1922


  1. ^ Information supplied thanks to the librarian at the London Royal Academy of Music. No prospectus available for 1940, and his name is not listed in the 1941 prospectus.
  2. ^ "Medal: Royal Academy of Music medal awarded to Rowsby Woof for violin, 1904. Bronze". Royal Academy of Music Museum. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  3. ^ "Medal: Royal Academy of Music medal awarded to Rowsby Woof for violin, 1905. Silver". Royal Academy of Music Museum. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "Royal Academy of Music". Musical News. London, England. July 28, 1906. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  5. ^ Wyndham, H. Saxe; L'Epine, Geoffrey, eds. (1915). Who's who in Music: A Biographical Record of Contemporary Musicians (2nd ed.). London, England. p. 318. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966". GOV.UK Find a Will. p. 543. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Rowsby Woof Prize Board". Royal Academy of Music Museum. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  8. ^ "Book of Remembrance: Rowsby Woof". Friends of the Musicians’ Chapel. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  9. ^ "Richard Adams". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Probably his mother, Sarah Rowsby Woof

External links[edit]