Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

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Artist Hyperion Records
Dearnley, Christopher (organ)

Christopher Dearnley (organ)

The late Christopher Dearnley established a world-wide reputation as an outstanding organist and leading church musician through many recordings and solo performances. Born in Wolverhampton in 1930 the third son of an Anglican clergyman, Dearnley was educated at Cranleigh school and Worcester College, Oxford, where he held an organ scholarship. After leaving Oxford, Dearnley did his national service in the RAF at Melksham. As the base was near Salisbury, he made contact with the cathedral organist, Douglas Guest, who invited him to play for some services. He began a fruitful 11-year tenure, living in the shadow of the tallest spire in England and master of the cathedral's wonderful "Father" Willis organ. He introduced instrumental teaching for the choristers to enhance their musical education, something he believed in very strongly. One of the music teachers who responded to his advertisement later became his wife and bore him three sons and a daughter. This meant that when he was appointed to St Paul's in 1968, he became the first occupant of the organist's house in Amen Court for more than a century with young children . The contrast between the plain early English Gothic of Salisbury and the Renaissance splendour and vast acoustic of St Paul's could not be greater. As organist and director of music at St Paul's cathedral from 1968-90, he masterminded the music for many state occasions: the thanksgiving service for the Queen's silver jubilee, the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Falklands war thanksgiving service. He had a special interest in English music of the 17th and 18th centuries, and published two books on church music of this period. Through many recordings and solo performances he established a world-wide reputation as an outstanding organist and leading church musician. His service to church music was recognised in 1987 when the Lambeth degree of Doctor of Music was conferred on him by the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1990 he was appointed by the Queen a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order. On retirement in 1990, Christopher and his wife Bridget moved to Sydney, Australia. He died on 15 December 2000.


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