Philip Ledger dies aged 74

The esteemed British classical musician and academic is best known for his role as director of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.

Philip ledger

Sir Philip Ledger has died at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer. In his lengthy career, he directed the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and worked with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears at Aldeburgh Festival.

Born in 1937, Sir Philip was educated at King's College Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. He was appointed Master of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral in 1961, making him the youngest Cathedral Organist in the country.

He was appointed a CBE in the New Year Honours list in 1985, and knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 1999 for Services to Music. Throughout his illustrious career as an organist and composer, he was awarded honorary doctorates from the Universities of Strathclyde, Central England, Glasgow, and St Andrews, and from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Between 1982-2001 he was Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, President of the Royal College of Organists from 1992–94 and President of the Incorporated Society of Musicians from 1994-95.

As well as his many music directing responsibilities, Sir Philip is known for his original compositions and choral arrangements. He continued to compose after his retirement in 2001; a new carol is being performed on 16 December in Essex.

Video: Philip Ledger

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