Lionel Tertis (1876–1975) singlehandedly transformed the status of the viola as a musical instrument, rescuing it from its hitherto lowly reputation as the Cinderella of the orchestra, an instrument of refuge for 'down and out' violinists. Tertis made it his mission to change this state of affairs. During his lifetime, composers as eminent as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst wrote pieces especially for the performer.
John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, unveiled the English Heritage Blue Plaque and said: 'Tertis's legacy is profound and far outreaches the confines of viola playing, as it set a precedent for many other instruments and solo performers. It is a great honour to unveil this plaque in memory of an extraordinary man who stands in the company of Ysaÿe, Kreisler, Casals, Thibaud and Rubinstein as one of the greatest instrumentalists of his age.'