Percy Whitlock
Percy Whitlock

Percy Whitlock Biography (Wikipedia)

Percy William Whitlock (1 June 1903 in Chatham, Kent – 1 May 1946 in Bournemouth), was an English organist and post-romantic composer.

Percy Whitlock studied at London's Royal College of Music with Charles Villiers Stanford and Ralph Vaughan Williams. From 1921-1930, Whitlock was assistant organist at Rochester Cathedral in Kent. He served as Director of Music at St Stephen's Church, Bournemouth for the next five years, combining this from 1932 with the role of that town's borough organist, in which capacity he regularly played at the local Pavilion Theatre. After 1935 he worked for the Pavilion Theatre full-time. A tireless railway enthusiast, he wrote at length and with skill about his interest. Sometimes, for both prose and music, he used the pseudonym "Kenneth Lark." He worked closely with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra; the orchestra's conductor from 1935-1940 was Richard Austin, whose father Frederic Austin dedicated his Organ Sonata to Whitlock.

Whitlock was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1928. Near the end of his life, he lost his sight altogether, and he died in Bournemouth a few weeks before his 43rd birthday. For decades afterwards he remained largely forgotten. This neglect has eased in recent times, in particular through the activities and publications of the Percy Whitlock Trust, founded in 1983. The Percy Whitlock Trust was wound up in 2017, due to the expiry of copyright on Whitlock's compositions, and its assets and archive transferred to the Royal College of Organists.

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Proms 1942: Prom 40
Royal Albert Hall

Proms 1942: Prom 40

Royal Albert Hall

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