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Ivor Atkins (Composer, Arranger)

Born: November 29, 1869 - Llandaff, north of Cardiff, Wales, UK
Died: November 26, 1953 - Worceste, Worcestershire, England

The British choral conductor, organist, and composer, Ivor (Algernon) Atkins, was born into a Welsh musical family. He studied in Troro and Hereford, graduated with a bachelor of music degree from The Queen's College, Oxford in 1892, and subsequently obtained a Doctorate in Music (Oxford).

Ivor Atkins was assistant organist of Hereford Cathedral from 1890 to 1893, and organist of St Laurence Church, Ludlow from 1893 to 1897. He was the choirmaster and organist at Worcester Cathedral (succeeding Hugh Blair) and conductor of the Three Choirs Festivals, for over 50 years, from 1897 to 1950. His successor in this post was David Willcocks.

Ivor Atkins composed songs, church music, service settings and anthems. Atkins championed the music of Edward Elgar and was active as an editor of the music of J.S. Bach. With Edward Elgar he prepared an edition of J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). He is also well known for editing Allegri's Miserere with the famous top-C part for the treble.

Knighted in 1921 for services to music, Ivor Atkins was President of the Royal College of Organists from 1935 to 1936. He was a friend of Edward Elgar, who in 1904 dedicated the third of his Pomp and Circumstance Marches to Atkins.

Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Wikipedia Website (January 2011); National Portrait Gallery (Photos 01-04)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2011)

Ivor Atkins: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Ivor Atkins (Wikipedia)

National Portrait Gallery


Jerrold Northrop Moore (May 2008): "Atkins, Sir Ivor Algernon (1869–1953)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press. Retrieved Feb 5, 2009)
Oxford Companion to Music. Edited by Sir Percy Scholes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955)

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