British composer and BBC Proms saxophonist wife die alongside their seven-month-old daughter in plane crash

An award-winning composer, his musician wife and their baby daughter have been killed when the private plane he was flying crashed in the Alps on their family holiday.

Investigators are searching the wreckage to determine the cause of the crash in which Jonathan and Hannah Goldstein and their seven-month-old daughter Saskia died.

Mr Goldstein, 50, an experienced amateur pilot, was flying the single-engine Piper Arrow IV when it crashed in the Simplon Pass in Switzerland 90 minutes after take off. 

The couple married last year

The plane, en route to Italy, struck the mountainside at an altitude of 6,100 feet at about 10.30am on Sunday. The Goldsteins had set off from London on Saturday and had stopped first in Troyes in France before making a second stop in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The couple, who lived in central London, had married three years ago and their daughter Saskia – to whom they were devoted – was born at the start of the year. 

In a statement, their relatives said: “We are all devastated by the news of Jonathan, Hannah and Saskia’s deaths. We loved them all so very much. They were so happy together and we will miss them terribly.”

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The couple's daughter Saskia was seven months old at the time of the crash

A family friend said: “They were an absolutely lovely, beautiful, talented couple. They met through music and they were devoted to each other and to Saskia.”

According to Mrs Goldstein’s website, she and her husband were collaborating on a solo album project at the time of their deaths.

Mr Goldstein was a hugely successful composer who had written film scores including the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear when he was in his early 20s.

His composition Magical Moments reached number one in the Official UK classical music charts. His company Goldstein Music Group produces and sources music for advertising, broadcast and film and has worked with television companies, the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company and won a number of awards.

Hannah Goldstein played the saxophone at BBC Proms

Mrs Goldstein, 36, was a classical saxophonist who had played with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra and was a regular performer at the BBC proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

She had also played to critical acclaim at the Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Centre. Mrs Goldstein also taught the saxophone and clarinet at st Paul’s Girls’ School having obtained a first class degree from the Royal Academy of Music.

Mr Goldstein and his daughter Saskia, aged seven monthsCredit:
Handout

In a posting on Facebook in 2011, Mr Goldstein spoke of his relief at passing his solo, cross-country flying exam.

“Not normally one to brag but confess to feeling ever so slightly smug,” he wrote. 

In 2015, Mr Goldstein is thought to have purchased the Piper aircraft in which the family were flying on Sunday.

The Federal Authority Safety Investigation in Switzerland has  begun an investigation to determine the cause of the accident.

A police photograph shows smoke rising at the site of the crashCredit:
REUTERS/Police Cantonale du Valais

A spokesman for police in the Swiss canton of Valais told The Telegraph: “It’s far too early to say what may have caused the crash.” 

An eyewitness hiking in the Simplon Pass said he spotted two burning objects fall and then heard two loud bangs. Christian Merz, 63, from Dorneck, Switzerland told a local newspaper he saw two people rush towards the aircraft in a desperate bid to help, but they were unable to reach the wreckage because of the intense heat of the flames.

 

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