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David Sanger (Organ, Harpsichord)

Born: April 17, 1947 - London, England
Died: May 28, 2010 - Cumbrian Lake District, England

The English organist and harpsichordist, David John Sanger, was educated at Eltham College and the Royal Academy of Music (1963-1966) and became well known as an organ recitalist when he won First Prize in two international competitions: St Alban's, England in 1969 and Kiel, Germany in 1972. He also studied frivately with Susi Jeans, Marie-Claire Alain and Anton Heiller (1968-1969).

David Sanger was one of the world's most accomplished concert organists. He toured many countries as recitalist - Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Italy, France, Russia, Iceland, the USA, Mexico and South Korea - as well as giving many recitals in the British Isles, notably at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Hall, the City of London Festival, the Bath Festival, the Chester Festival, the West-Riding Cathedrals' Festival, and many similar occasions. He was frequently partnered by Hans Fagius from Sweden for Organ Duet Concerts.

As a recording artist David Sanger made over 20 CD's, all of which received favourable reviews. His debut on the organ was with Polydor (DG Début Series) with J.S. Bach and César Franck recorded in Munich. He recorded the complete organ works of César Franck at the Katarina Church in Stockholm (before the fire) for BIS. His Meridian recordings of Vierne's Six Organ Symphonies have received wide acclaim and he embarked on recordings of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach. The most recent Bach CD's were recorded on the newly constructed, historic-style, Carsten Lund organ in Copenhagen's Garnisons Church. Recently with Meridian he recorded a selection of trifles by Lefébure-Wély, this latter CD recorded on the recent Cavaillé-Coll style instrument at Exeter College, Oxford, for which instrument David Sanger also acted as Consultant. Other recent projects as consultant include new, rebuilt or restored organs at Bromley Parish Church, Haileybury College, St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sheffield Cathedral and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

From 1980 to 1989 David Sanger was professor of organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and chairman of the organ department there from 1987 to 1989. Between 1989 and 1997 he was a Consultant Professor at the Royal Academy of Music. He was guest professor for a period of two years at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. Recently, he was a Visiting Tutor in organ studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and teacher of organ at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He had many successful students at international competition level, including two winners at the Calgary International Organ Competition. He gave master-classes in many places including Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, and was 'Headmaster' of the Church Music Seminar in Bergen for 14 years. He appeared in the jury of many international organ competitions; St Alban's, Paisley, Speyer, Biarritz, Alkmaar, Odense Nűrnberg and Lucerne. He was President of the Royal College of Organists from 2009 to 2010.

From time to time, he composed music for organ, as well as for strings and choirs. Small Choral Arrangements were published by Oxford University Press, Basil Ramsey, Vest-Norsk Musikkforlag; Missa Brevis published by United Music Publishers. He wrote an organ tutor in two volumes for beginners, entitled Play the Organ (published by Novello), which bacam the most widely used in Britain in recent years. He ran courses for advanced students at his home in the Cumbrian Lake District, including tuition on the Bevington organ installed there.

David Sanger's hobbies include racquet sports, walking, swimming and gardening. David Sanger died at his home on Friday May 28, 2010. Unfortunately, he died before finishing his Bach organ integral. His website is now a memorial to a great musician, teacher and friend to many.

Source: David Sanger Website; International Who's Who in Music & International Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2007); Marc Tinga [Groningen, NL] (February 2011)

David Sanger: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

David Sanger (Official Website)
David Sanger - organist (Wikipedia)
David Sanger, organist (Netreach)
David Sanger (Hampshire CommuniGate)

David Sanger - New Music (Peoplesound)
Interview with David Sanger (Cumbrian Society of Organists)
David Sanger (Kirkjulistahátíd Festival)

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