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E. Power Biggs

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Biography

Edward George Power Biggs (1906 - 1977) was an American organist, born and trained in England. He is noted for reviving interest in pre-Romantic organ music, advocating the use of historical instruments and original registrations, and causing many organs built in America to be a European Baroque style. He also made several recordings with a pedal harpsichord.

One of his contemporaries and rivals was Virgil Fox, known for a more colorful style of playing. Regarding Biggs’ obsession with historical accuracy, Fox charged that Biggs was “relegating the organ to a museum piece.”

For many years had a radio show on CBS featuring the organ, especially the organ he had installed at Harvard by Flentrop. He had a personal relationship with G. Donald Harrison of Aeolian-Skinner fame, but there was a falling out.

Many organists consider Biggs’ recordings of Bach to be near definitive, and he is held in very high esteem by several generations of organists, who learned to love the instrument because of his playing.

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