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Richard Popplewell (1935-2016) – Accompanist to The Bach Choir 1966-1978

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Richard Popplewell (1935-2016) – Accompanist to The Bach Choir 1966-1978

The Bach Choir is saddened to learn of the death on 22 March 2016 of Richard Popplewell.  He was 80.  Richard was accompanist to The Bach Choir for 12 years from 1966 to 1978 under Sir David Willcocks, who had given him his first organ lessons when he was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge.  Richard later became Organ Scholar at King’s, and went on to hold the posts of Assistant Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, Director of Music at St Michael’s Cornhill, and Organist, Choirmaster and Composer to HM Chapels Royal.  He was also a distinguished and influential professor at the Royal College of Music.

Several members of The Bach Choir attended a recital at St Michael’s Cornhill in October 2015, given by Richard’s former pupils in honour of his 80th birthday.  Poor health prevented him from attending, but he very much enjoyed listening to a recording of the event.  He died with his wife, Margaret, by his bedside and with this recording playing in the background.