A RENOWNED violinist who began his musical career at the tender age of 15 has died aged 63 of heart disease.

Paul Robertson, an associate professor at Oxford University's Green Templeton College, passed away on July 26, 2016 after suffering from ill health for several years.

Born in East London in November 1952, the young Paul Robertson and his parents moved to Oxford and lived a frugal existence in a caravan just 300 yards from where he would eventually receive an honorary fellowship.

He chose to take free violin lessons at school and his father later sold the family's van to pay for more tuition, buying a new instrument with an £80 pools win.

With just five O-levels under his belt the young Paul Robertson won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, aged 15.

At the age of 19 he would joined with three of what he called "the best players of my generation" to form the legendary Medici String Quartet, which played together for more than 40 years and made more than 50 recordings,following a debut at Wigmore Hall in London in 1973. Mr Robertson played as its first violinist throughout.

Mr Robertson married American-born violinist Chika Yamauchi in 1981 and together they set up the Music Mind Spirit Trust, which pursues research in music and its relationship to medicine, leadership, learning and spirituality.

Eight years ago Mr Robertson fell into a coma following surgery for a ruptured aorta at St George's Hospital in Tooting, South London.

His recollection of the bizarre dreams experienced while in the coma, and of several other near-death experiences over the course of his adult life, are charted in a memoir

entitled ‘Soundscapes: A Musician’s Journey Through Life and Death’. The book is to be published by Faber and Faber on 1 September 2016.

He was elected to the fellowship of the former Templeton College in 2007 and his association continued following the founding of Green Templeton in 2008.

In a statement the college said: "As well as a performer, Paul was also a popular and sought-after lecturer and broadcaster and played a leading role in changing and shaping people's thinking about the power of creativity through the arts and sciences. Paul will be very much missed by his friends and colleagues at Green Templeton College."