Parratt, Sir Walter

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Parratt, Sir Walter

Parratt, Sir Walter, eminent English organist, teacher, and composer; b. Huddersfield, Feb. 10, 1841; d. Windsor, March 27, 1924. He was a pupil of his father, the organist of the Huddersfield Parish Church, then became a pupil of George Cooper (1851), and also began playing the organ in various churches. He was made organist of Great Witley Church and private organist to the Earl of Dudley (1864), at the Wigan Parish Church (1868), at Magdalen Coll., Oxford (1872), and finally at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor (1882); was also made private organist to the Queen (1892). He was prof. of organ at the Royal Coll. of Music in London (1883–1923), prof. of music at Oxford Univ. (1908–18), and dean of music at London Univ. (1916–24). Parratt served as Master of the Queen’s (later King’s) Music (1893–1924). A distinguished recitalist and teacher, he received honorary doctorates in music from the Univs. of Oxford (1894), Cambridge (1910), and Durham (1912); was knighted (1892); became a Member (1901), Commander (1917), and Knight Commander (1921) of the Royal Victorian Order. Among his compositions were the Obitt Service, 4 anthems, and other sacred works, incidental music, songs, organ pieces, and piano music.


D. Tovey and G. Parratt, W. P., Master of Music (London, 1941).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire