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Sir David Willcocks

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Sir David Valentine Willcocks CBE MC (born 30 December 1919) is a British choral conductor, organist, and composer. His son, Jonathan Willcocks, is also a composer.

Born in Newquay in Cornwall, he began his musical training as a chorister at Westminster Abbey from 1929 to 1934. From 1934 to 1938, he was a music scholar at Clifton College, Bristol, before his appointment as organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge.

After WWII he returned to Cambridge in 1945 to complete his studies, and in 1947 was elected a Fellow of King’s College and appointed Conductor of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society. In the same year, he became the organist at Salisbury Cathedral and the conductor of the Salisbury Musical Society. He moved to Worcester Cathedral in 1950 and remained until 1957, during which time he was organist of the Cathedral, principal conductor of the Three Choirs Festival in 1951, 1954, and 1957, and conductor of the City of Birmingham Choir. From 1956 to 1974 he was also conductor of the Bradford Festival Choral Society, whilst continuing as guest conductor for their carol concerts into the early 1990s.

From 1957 to 1974 he held the post for which he is probably best known, Director of Music at King’s College, Cambridge. In addition, he served as the organist of Cambridge University, conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society, and as University Lecturer.

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