Musician and teacher;

Born: January 25, 1930; Died: March 28, 2012.

Donald Hawksworth, who has died aged 82, was a musician and teacher who arrived more by accident than design in north-east Scotland where he enjoyed a long and distinguished career.

Yorkshire born and bred, he studied at London's Royal College of Music and had no connection with the area until he spotted an advert for a job in Brechin.

Without having a clue where the Angus town was, he successfully applied for the post of music teacher. A few years later he moved north where he taught at Aberdeen Grammar School for the best part of two decades and happily admitted he had been sucked into the city's musical vortex.

Aberdeen also proved the perfect base for his hillwalking and mountaineering passion, ultimately taking him to his rural home, amid the spectacular scenery of the Cairngorms National Park, with views of Morven which provided the inspiration for one of his musical ventures, the Morven Duo.

The hills were familiar territory: he had grown up with the Peak District on his doorstep when he was raised in Sheffield where he attended High Storrs Grammar School. The youngest of a family of five, he was always a musical child, regularly to be found playing the piano at his grandmother's house and giving a recital in Sheffield on the eve of his departure for music college in London.

After his studies came the move to Brechin High School – thanks to an advertisement on the Royal College notice board – where he spent several happy years before being appointed to the staff of Aberdeen Grammar School, in the late 1950s, where he went on to become head of music.

There he was involved in organising numerous exchange trips for school pupils and young musicians from Aberdeen's twin city of Regensburg in Germany, as well as taking school parties on climbing expeditions.

He left the Grammar School in 1973 and for the next 10 years was music advisor to the local education authority. After taking early retirement in 1983 he was able to devote more of his time to his own musical activities which included performing and examining.

A member of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music he travelled widely both at home and abroad, frequently visiting Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. As he once noted: "I examined in all the grades and about every instrument, with the exception of the bagpipes!"

The foreign trips also gave him the opportunity to indulge in his love of climbing abroad. He visited the Himalayas and reached the lower slopes of Everest while back home he was a member of the Cairngorm Club. He had edited its journal, completed all of the Munros and would celebrate his birthday each year by climbing Morven.

A versatile musician, he was an extremely talented accompanist and an excellent pianist, organist and harpsichordist.

He gave countless recitals in the north-east and across Scotland, often concentrating on chamber music as part of the Aberdeen Trio and in the Morven Duo with his friend of more than 50 years, Raymond Dodd. In addition he was organist at Aberdeen's Beechgrove Church and also premiered pieces written for him by Scottish composers Martin Dalby and John McLeod.

Despite having left teaching within schools in the 1970s, his work with young musicians continued in the ensuing decades, his own enthusiasm for music and his enjoyment of it effortlessly inspiring others. His work with youth choirs and orchestras spanned a wide range of music but he had a particular fondness for Benjamin Britten's works.

He was heavily involved for many years with the North-East of Scotland Music School (NESMS), on both the teaching and management side. He served as a member of its music committee and management council and chaired its auditioning panel for scholarships.

He became an official organ tutor for the school three years ago after sparking interest in the instrument with a workshop he helped organise which was led by Paisley Abbey's organist Professor George McPhee. But he wasn't above being a pupil himself, taking cello lessons through the school.

NESMS administrator Joan Thomas said: "He was involved in so many musical things and there are lots of people who were Aberdeen Grammar School pupils who owe their profound love of music to Donald Hawksworth and who remember him with such affection. Whenever he was around there was lots of laughter and fun."

A lively personality who was excellent company, he also enjoyed art, photography and theatre, particularly performances at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and had been planning a trip to Birmingham's Symphony Hall next month to see a performance by Aberdeen-born soprano Lisa Milne whom he had once accompanied.

He is survived by his nieces Maureen and Wendy, nephews Barry, Tony, David and Robin and extended family.