He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
The leader of the world-famous Lindsay Quartet, and pioneer of Sheffield's Music in the Round festival, has died of a heart attack. Here, his friend and old school colleague, John Suchet, pays tribute to a unique musical talent.
"I was at Uppingham School with Peter Cropper in the early 60s. We both played the violin, but not quite to the same standard.
He was two years junior to me, and a new boy, when the violin teacher told me she was creating a school string quartet. Cropper was to be first violin, I was to be second.
On the day of our first rehearsal, in walked a scruffy teenager, hair all over the place, tie askew, dandruff on his black jacket. I smiled secretly. I'll soon see him off, I thought.
Then we started to play. I was sacked after that first rehearsal. He went on to better things.
He will be remembered as the driving force of what I believe was the finest string quartet this country has ever produced, the Lindsay Quartet.
And we had many a chuckle over that first meeting."
Here are the Lindsays performing part of Beethoven's String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 130: