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Margaret Phillips (Organ, Harpsichord)

Born: November 16, 1950 - Exeter, Devon, England

The English concert organist and harpsichordist, Margaret Corinna Phillips, studied at the Royal College of Music from 1968, graduating in organ performing with honours in 1972. She continued her studies privately in Paris, France, with Marie-Claire Alain in 1972-1973.

Margaret Phillips made her debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1972. She soon gained an international reputation as a soloist, playing at concert halls and cathedrals throughout Europe and in the USA, Australia and Mexico. She has also particpated in radio broadcasts in Great Britain, Sweden. Denmark, Holland and Australia.
She has appeared frequently as a continuo player and accompanist with such ensembles as the London Mozart Players, London Choral Society, BBC Singers and The Sixteen. Today she is regarded as one of Britain's most outstanding concert organists and teachers.

Recent performance highlights have included the first concert for many years on the Flentrop organ in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, concerts on the historically significant organs in Trinity College (Cambridge, UK), Grauhof and Naumburg (Germany), Haarlem (Holland), Marmoutier (France), and the ancient ‘swallow’s nest’ organ in Sion (Switzerland). She was the first British artist to play an organ concert on the new organ in the recently rebuilt Frauenkirche in Dresden. Teaching on courses in Cambridge, Canford-at-Sherborne, Haarlem and Sion have added to her busy schedule.

Alongside her busy concert career, Margaret Phillips devotes much of her time to education activities. She was Director of Music at St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall, London from 1976 to 1985; Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at London College of Music from 1985 to 1991. She has been Professor of Organ at the Royal College of Music in London for the last ten years. From 1997 to 1999 she was President of the Incorporated Association of Organists and for 20 years she was a member of Council of the Royal College of Organists. She was also lecturer at English Church and Organ Music. She regularly gives master-classes both at home and abroad, and has been a jury member for organ competitions such as those held in St Albans (UK) and Odense (Denmark). She is Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO), and Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM).

In 1994, Margaret Phillips and her husband founded the English Organ School and Museum (= EOS) in former chapel premises in Milborne Port, Somerset, where they have a collection of organs by English organ builders from the 18th century to the present day. EOS aims to provide facilities for learning and playing the organ, to promote the understanding and appreciation of the organ as a musical instrument, and to preserve a modest part of Britain's organ heritage.

Recordings: Festliche Orgelmusik; English Organ Music from Queen Elizabeth I to Queen Elizabeth II; D. Buxtehude; Orgel musik i Karlskoga kyrka; Klosters Orgel; Organ Music of Camille Saint-Saëns; 18th century English Organ Music; 19th Century English Organ Music. Her critically acclaimed recordings include 2-CD sets of the organ works of Felix Mendelssohn, C. Saint-Saëns and Stanley, and her CD's of J.S. Bach’s Eighteen, Schübler Chorales and the Canonic Variations received 5-star reviews in Goldberg Magazine and Choir & Organ. A further recording of Bach, including the Orgelbüchlein, was released in 2007, to enthusiastic reviews.

Source: Margaret Phillips Website (January 2008); International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2008)

Margaret Phillips: Short Biography | Recordings of Non-Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

Margaret Phillips - Concert Organist (Official Website)


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