Sir David Willcocks, one of the most respected and loved figures of British 20th century choral life, has died, aged 95.
Born in Newquay, Cornwall, Willcocks was a chorister at Westminster Abbey, music scholar at Clifton College, Bristol, and organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge – the establishment with which he came to be defined. Distinguished war service – including being involved in action at Operation Market Garden – was followed by a return to Cambridge, where he became a Fellow of King’s in 1947. In that year he moved to Salisbury Cathedral as organist, followed by Worcester three years later.
But it is for his time as Organist and Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge, a post he took up in 1957 (succeeding Boris Ord) and held until 1974, for which he will be best known, particularly among record listeners for whom riches from those years will form a part of most choral collections.
Watch this delightful conversation with David Willcocks from last year