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date: 01 April 2020

Alcock, Sir Walter (Galpin)locked

  • Stanley Webb
  • , revised by Paul Hale



(b Edenbridge, Dec 29, 1861; d Salisbury, Sept 11, 1947). English organist. One of the most able cathedral organists of his day, Alcock had the unique distinction of having played in Westminster Abbey at the coronation of three English kings: Edward VII, George V and George VI. After studying under Sullivan and Stainer, he was successively organist at the Chapel Royal, assistant to Sir Frederick Bridge at the Abbey, and then organist of Salisbury Cathedral for 30 years (from 1917 until his death). Much in demand as a recitalist, he was one of the famous ABC trio (Alcock, Thalben-Ball and G.D. Cunningham) who jointly opened the BBC Concert Hall organ in 1932. Two years later he oversaw the rebuilding, with minimal alteration, of the Salisbury ‘Father Willis’ organ at a time when many Willis organs were being completely revoiced. H.C. Colles wrote of ‘his finished technique, cleanness of phrasing and impeccable taste’; he made numerous recordings, many of which were reissued in the 1990s. He had considerable influence as a teacher at the RCM and composed a number of organ and choral works, now rarely performed. He was knighted in ...

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