José-Luis Garcia was born in Madrid on February 25 1944, to a Catholic family steeped in music. He began studying the violin at the age of six with his father. After taking first prize in the Sarasate Competition in Pamplona, in 1960, he moved to London to take lessons with his compatriot Antonio Brosa at the Royal College of Music, where he took the Stoutzker Prize, the College’s main violin award.
Jose-Luis Garcia made his Proms debut, aged only 19, in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Malcolm Sargent (his fellow soloists were Kenneth Sillito, Roy Malan and Ronald Thomas) For more than twenty years he was first violin-conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra, with which he led a very active artistic life and made important recordings, such as the Mozart concertos for violin and orchestra and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.
In 1992 he joined the staff of the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía (Queen Sofía College of Music) and one year later acceded to the Chair of Violin.
José-Luis Garcia, who died on August 11, 2011 was a great jazz enthusiast, often retiring to Ronnie Scott’s after a London concert. His marriage to Joanna Milholland took place on the day that England won the World Cup in 1966, causing some disruption to the nuptial celebrations as guests endeavoured to keep abreast of the score. She survives him, as do a son and a daughter.
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