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Synthesiser pioneer and composer Peter Zinovieff dies at 88

The British synthesiser pioneer and composer, Peter Zinovieff, has died at the age of 88. 

The news was revealed by fellow composer James Gardner, who broke the news that his friend had suffered a fall while at home earlier this month and had been in hospital for the last 10 days. 

James Gardner took to Twitter to write: “With a heavy heart, I am sorry to confirm the death on Wednesday evening of Peter Zinovieff, composer, founder of EMS, and pioneer of computer music in the UK. He was 88 and had been in hospital for 10 days following a fall at his home.”

Electronic Music Studios (EMS) was the UK’s pioneering synthesiser company and, naturally, it had a huge impact on the sound of the musical landscape. Zinovieff is said to have personally taught members of The Beatles, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and others how to use his products. 

As Zinovieff told the Guardian back in 2015, “I had a nice time teaching Ringo Starr how to use it [the VCS3]. I would go to his house in Hampstead. He wasn’t particularly good. But then neither was I.”

The sonic visionary is not only survived by his fourth wife, Jenny Jardine, and six children, Sofka, Leo, Kolinka, Freya, Kitty and Eliena, but also by the huge impact he had on the sound of modern music as his work ensured that the music of the sixties refused to stagnate. 

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