William Harris Biography (BBC)
As the son of a musical family, Fulham-born William Harris developed his considerable natural skills at the organ and in the choir of Holy Trinity Church, Tulse Hill.
Studies with Walter Parratt, the influential organist of St George's Chapel, Windsor, and composition lessons from Charles Wood and Walford Davies prepared the ground for Harris's long career as a church musician. In 1919, he was appointed organist of New College, Oxford, and went on to become organist at nearby Christ Church Cathedral.
Harris's reputation, enhanced by work as professor at the Royal College of Music and adroit handling of Oxford's famously testing musical politics, placed him top of the list of candidates for the job of organist of St George's Chapel. He accepted the prestigious post in 1933 and held it for almost three decades, complementing regular liturgical work with a variety of 'royal' duties. Harris provided music tuition to Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, composed short works for the 1937 and 1953 Coronation services, and generally cultivated the excellence of musical worship at St George's.
Appointed a KCVO in 1954, Harris subsequently served as director of musical studies at the Royal School of Church Music until his retirement in 1961.
William Harris Tracks