My friend Richard Maunder, who has died aged 80, was distinguished in two separate scholarly disciplines: mathematics and musicology.
His book, Algebraic Topology, first published in 1970, became a well-established textbook, and when his interests turned more fully to music he created a new version of Mozart’s Requiem that was controversial but led scholars and performers to rethink that unfinished masterpiece.
Richard was born in Southsea, Hampshire, the son of Charles, an architect, and Edna (nee Raine), a teacher. He went to High Wycombe grammar school and then Jesus College, Cambridge, before going on to complete a PhD at Christ’s College, Cambridge, in 1962 and becoming a fellow of Christ’s in 1964. He married Marilyn Glover, a Cambridge geography graduate, in 1963, and they later settled in a beautiful 17th-century house in Sawston, just outside Cambridge.
After teaching at Southampton University in 1963-64 he was offered the post of supervisor to the maths students at Christ’s and subsequently became a lecturer at the department of pure mathematics there until his retirement.
While in that post he became more interested in music than maths, making instruments (fine copies of the 1725 Hitchcock harpsichord and Mozart’s Walter piano), performing on period instruments (viola and violone in particular), and occasionally conducting small orchestras.
However, he achieved his highest musicological profile with his new version of Mozart’s Requiem, about which he wrote a book, Mozart’s Requiem: On Preparing a New Edition (1988). His method of detecting Franz Xaver Süssmayr’s inept additions to the Requiem enabled him to publish a completion closer to the composer in technique and spirit, and later, in 1990, to complete the great C minor Mass using the expertise gained; both were recorded by Christopher Hogwood and Paul McCreesh.
Richard also published many scores of 18th-century music and his later years were largely taken up with two books, The Scoring of Baroque Concertos (2004) and The Scoring of Early Classical Concertos (2014), focusing on his groundbreaking one-to-a-part theory but incidentally providing potential performers with invaluable surveys of musical terra incognita.
A modest man with a dry sense of humour and a mathematician’s love of games, from silly to intellectual, he was a much loved figure, not least in Sawston, where he helped to save and restore Mary Challis House in the village and to preserve the local church organ.
He is survived by Marilyn, their sons Nick, Matt and David, and six grandchildren.