Pe­ter Hur­ford

BBC Music Magazine - - The Full Score -

Born 1930 Or­gan­ist, choir­mas­ter, com­poser

An ad­mired or­gan­ist, Pe­ter Hur­ford read both mu­sic and law at Je­sus Col­lege, Cam­bridge, leav­ing with a de­gree and a promis­ing rep­u­ta­tion as a per­former. His de­ci­sion to opt for mu­sic, prompted by stud­ies with Harold Darke, saw Hur­ford re­lo­cate to Paris where he stud­ied with An­dré Mar­chal. There he honed his im­pro­vis­ing skills and ex­plored Baroque reper­toire. In the 1970s, he un­der­took the mighty task of record­ing all of Bach’s or­gan works, a set that re­mains some­thing of a bench­mark; his discog­ra­phy also in­cludes the com­plete or­gan works of Couperin, Han­del and Hin­demith. In 1958 Hur­ford was ap­pointed mu­sic mas­ter at St Al­bans Cathe­dral and he went on to found the St Al­bans In­ter­na­tional Or­gan Fes­ti­val. In 2009 he re­tired af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s. He com­posed or­gan and litur­gi­cal mu­sic, and you can hear his Litany to the Holy Spirit on this month’s cover CD.

Bach mas­ter: Pe­ter Hur­ford at Syd­ney Opera House’s Grand Or­gan in 1980

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