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Jonathan Rennert

(Thomas)

(b Sydney, June 18, 1896; d London, Jan 18, 1987). British organist and church musician of Australian birth. A chorister and piano pupil of G.D. Cunningham, organ student at the RCM under F.A. Sewell and Walter Parratt and protégé of Walford Davies, he was at first known as a pianist. He took the solo part in Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto under Stanford when he was 19. Thalben-Ball was appointed director of music at the Temple Church, London, in 1919, a post he held until 1981; he came to national attention in the 1920s through a series of recordings with the Temple Church choir, including one of Mendelssohn’s Hear my prayer with Ernest Lough as treble soloist. Over the next half-century he was at the forefront of international recitalists. He was frequently heard on the radio as an organist and as director of the BBC Singers, and was musical adviser to the BBC’s religious broadcasting department (...