Tributes have been paid to an accomplished violinist and musician who died after getting into difficulties at the UEA Sportspark swimming pool.

Dominic Hopkins died on January 28 – a day after succumbing to the incident.

Affectionately known as “Dom” by all who knew him, he has been described as a “dearly loved Norwich violinist”.

Tributes have flooded social media following his death.

%image(14396516, type="article-full", alt="Celebrations: (Left to right) Keith Hobday, Dominic Hopkins, Claire Gibby and Sophie Li-Rocchi, musicians performing at Feilden & Mawson's 40th birthday")

A former leader of Norwich Philharmonic, the 57-year-old spent eight seasons with the orchestra from November 2008 to March 2016. During this time, he co-led the orchestra alongside David Randall in the performance of Mahler’s 8th Symphony for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May 2016.

A tribute from the orchestra said the news was “devastating”.

It added: “He was an exceptionally fine violinist and a passionate musician, much-loved by all of us.”

The group’s February concert at St Andrew's Hall was dedicated in his memory. It included a short tribute in the programme, as well as a violin concerto and an especially apt performance of Mahler’s symphonies.

%image(14396517, type="article-full", alt="Musical inspiration: Dominic Hopkins, known as "Dom", was a much-loved character within the classical music world")

The charity Norwich and Norfolk Community Arts (NORCA) and Sistema in Norwich also posted a tribute to its followers on its own social media pages.

It read: “We are really sad to hear about the passing of Dominic Hopkins.

“Dom worked as a violin tutor for Sistema in Norwich for a couple of years, bringing his significant skills with the violin to teaching, with all his verve and passion for music.

“He was a lovely man and he will be missed.”

Born on March 27, 1964, Mr Hopkins had a long and accomplished musical career.

Just a week before his death, he played in the orchestra pit at Norwich Theatre Royal for the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society production of The Sound of Music.

%image(14396518, type="article-full", alt="Wowing the crowds: Dominic Hopkins (far left) busking in Norwich with fellow musicians")

He became a familiar face on Norwich’s busking scene during the 1980s when he performed with a classical music group on London Street. He also performed during a production of Oliver on Cromer Pier’s Pavilion Theatre.

Friend and colleague, Keith Hobday, said he was “an absolute legend who will be sadly missed” and many others shared his sentiments.

Fellow musician, Ann Smith, said: “I will never forget his amazing flashing shoes at the Sound of Music. Such a lovely person and such a loss.”

And Alec Price-Forbes, who recalled Mr Hopkins’ time busking, added: “He was an inspiration to me and so many of us, during our formative years in Norwich. Many memories to reminisce on.

“In addition to his effortless mastery of the violin, I was always in awe of his ability to know lots about everything. What a loss.”

%image(14396519, type="article-full", alt="Entertaining shoppers: (Left to right) Buskers, Matthew Perrement, Jack Matthew, and Dominic Hopkins entertaining shoppers on London Street in Norwich, on July 20, 1990")

At the time of his death, the University of East Anglia said its thoughts were with Mr Hopkins’ friends and family.

The pool remained closed for more than two weeks following the incident, which happened on January 27 and saw Mr Hopkins taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in a critical condition.

Mr Hopkins died the next morning on January 28, 2022, aged 57. His funeral will take place at St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, on Friday, March 18 at 1.30pm.

The Health and Safety Executive has been investigating the incident.