English organist, composer, broadcaster, journalist and teacher Percy Whitlock was born at Chatham on 1 June 1903. He studied with Stanford and Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music in London, and his first job was as assistant organist at Rochester Cathedral from 1921 until 1930. He then was director of music at St Stephen's Church Bournemouth for five years, and was also the town's borough organist, where he played regularly at the Pavilion Theatre, later working for the theatre full-time. As part of his work with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, he gave many BBC broadcasts from 1933 until his death from tuberculosis in Bournemouth on 1 May 1946, aged forty-two.
As a composer, he was most successful in smaller forms. There are many organ works, including a symphony for organ and orchestra. His style shows influences of Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Gershwin and popular composers of the 1920s.
Forgotten for decades after his death, Whitlock's music has more recently been revived, the Percy Whitlock Trust was founded in 1983, and his music currently appears quite regularly in organ recitals.
A selection of M&V articles about Percy Whitlock
Technique and Musicianship - Tony Westerman is impressed by the organ playing of Tom Corfield
Seamless Precision - Mike Wheeler listens to Daniel Moult at the organ of Derby Cathedral
DVD Spotlight. Dignity and Impudence - A recital on Exeter Cathedral's organ, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. '... Millington on fine form ...'
Highly Characterful - Tom Corfield plays Whitlock, Howells, Messiaen, Bach and Peeters, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Four Heroes - Mike Wheeler enjoys a multi-player organ recital
Bubbling Energy - An organ recital by Malcolm Riley, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Noble and Moving - An organ recital by Andrew Nethsingha, appreciated by Mike Wheeler