Tributes paid to international conductor who died after A342 crash

Frank Shipway, who died after a crash on the A342 at Wedhampton, at Devizes Town Hall for the junior eisteddfod

Frank Shipway, who died after a crash on the A342 at Wedhampton, at Devizes Town Hall for the junior eisteddfod

First published in News by , Devizes area senior reporter

Tributes have been paid to renowned international conductor Frank Shipway, who has died following a crash on the A342 at Wedhampton.

Mr Shipway, who lived with his wife, Carmen, in Conock near Chirton, was initially airlifted to Southampton General Hospital after the crash between his car and a van on August 5.

However, he died of his injuries the next morning.

Mr Shipway, 79, had worked with orchestras all over the world, including the Royal Philharmonic and Italy’s National Symphony Orchestra.

He had also served on the juries of a number of international conducting competitions.

In 2010, he stepped in to become the director of the Devizes Junior Eisteddfod.

Patron and composer Simon May said: “Frank’s contribution to the festival that year was invaluable.

“He brought something very special to it and, without that input, the festival would have found it hard to keep its momentum. Frank helped it on its way.”

Lisa Jacobs, the general administrator of the Junior Eisteddfod, said: “Frank brought a wealth of music knowledge and brought in a number of musicians who were friends of his to adjudicate the children’s classes.

“He was a renowned conductor and he brought with him that incredible experience and was very passionate about it.”

Mrs Jacobs’s husband, Simon, was a friend of Mr Shipway and sold him his Conock home in 2009.

He said: “Frank was the most gifted man and had the most extraordinary life. He was an amazing conductor and musician.

“He completely refurbished the house in Conock; he built the kitchen, did all the wiring and plumbing.”

Mr Shipway was a member of Chirton Parish Council for about three years and had been its chairman since May.

Chirton parish councillor Mike Tucker said: “Frank will be sorely missed on the council. He always had a lot of input in meetings.

“He was cheerful, outgoing and always up for a laugh.”

Mr Shipway also had a daughter, Eugene, stepdaughter, Ella, and two grandchildren.

There will be a private funeral, followed by a memorial service, the dates of which are still to be confirmed.

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