Tragedy as symphony orchestra's bassoonist killed by train

11 February 2016, 15:11 | Updated: 11 February 2016, 15:12

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra mourns its Associate Principal Bassoon who was killed after being hit at a level crossing in the New Zealand city.

The New Zealand music community lost one of its finest musicians yesterday after Richard Chandler, Associate Principal Bassoon of Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, was killed in a collision with a freight train. 

Chandler was cycling just after 8am, New Zealand time, when he rode into the path of the oncoming train at the Fendalton Road level crossing in the South Island city. Police say he died at the scene. 

It is believed that the crossing's barrier arms and lights were working at the time of the accident, although it was noted that the barrier arms do not extend over the footpath.

Chandler, who was 52, studied at the Guildhall in London and had played with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra since 1983. He was also an accomplished pianist, winning New Zealand's National Concerto Competition in 1985.