David Sanger


Celebration event
St Michael's, Cornhill
Lake District Teaching
Bevington Organ
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David was one of the world's most accomplished concert organists. This site gives information about his recordings and concerts as well as details of music he composed and some background about his life.

Celebration of David's Life

A celebration of David's life was held on Saturday 5 March 2011 at Great St Mary's, the University Church in Market Square, Cambridge. Click here for more details. Many thanks to all the organists and singers that took part in what was a wonderful occasion - a real reflection of the friendship and love that so many had for David. Click here to see the programme.

David’s family and friends are grateful to the many people who so quickly rearranged recital schedules, etc., to replace his bookings, and to those who have dedicated events to David’s memory.

David Sanger's funeral

In line with David's wishes, a simple, private funeral was held at Distington Crematorium in Cumbria on Monday 21 June 2010. Family, close friends and local people attended. The text of the eulogy read at the funeral is available here.

Recital at St Michaels, Cornhill, City of London

A recital given by five leading organists in memory of David was given on Monday 1 November 2010. For more details, click here.


If you have any memories of David you would like to share, please go to this website: davidsangerrip.blogspot.com


An account of David's life, written by his brother Peter, is available here.

David Sanger's estate

David bequeathed all his organ music, organ CDs and organ books to the Royal College of Organists (RCO). The RCO also agreed to take all of David's organ consultancy/concert related files, which they will pass on to the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS) and/or the Association of Independent Organ Advisors (AIOA) as appropriate. All this material will be catalogued in the RCO library as being from David Sanger.

Anyone with outstanding contractual issues concerning David is invited to write to solicitor Mrs Lorraine Greenwood, of Brockbank Curwen Cain & Hall, at Norham House, Main Street, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9JS, or email her at lgreenwood@brockbanks.co.uk.

Old Wesleyan Chapel and Bevington Organ

The Chapel and organ have now been sold.


David Sanger died at his home on Friday 28th May 2010. His website is now a memorial to a great musician, teacher and friend to many.

David was educated at Eltham College and the Royal Academy of Music 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. His teachers included Susi Jeans, Marie-Claire Alain and Anton Heiller.

He toured many countries as recitalist - Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Italy, France, Russia, Iceland, the United States, 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 gave Master Classes in many places including Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, and was 'Headmaster' of the Church Music Seminar in Bergen for fourteen years. He was frequently partnered by Hans Fagius from Sweden for Organ Duet Concerts.

As a recording artist he made over 20 CDs, all of which received favourable reviews. His debut on the organ was with Polydor (DG Début Series) with Bach and 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 received wide acclaim and he was close to completing his recordings of the complete organ works of Bach. The most recent Bach recordings, released as a triple-CD set after David’s death, were recorded on a historic-style organ in northern Norway. (These were recorded by Euridice and are distributed in the UK by Discovery Records).

With Meridian he recorded a selection of trifles by Lefébure-Wély on the recent Cavaillé-Coll style instrument at Exeter College, Oxford, for which instrument David also acted as Consultant. Other projects as consultant included new, rebuilt or restored organs at Bromley Parish Church, Haileybury College, St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sheffield Cathedral, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Strathclyde University and Leeds Cathedral .

David appeared in the jury of many international organ competitions: St Alban's, Paisley, Speyer, Biarritz, Alkmaar, Odense Nűrnberg and Lucerne.

For some years he was professor of organ at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and chairman of the organ department there from 1987-89. Between 1989 and 1997 he was a Consultant Professor at the RAM. He was guest professor for a period of two years at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen. He had been a Visiting Tutor in organ studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, and was a 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 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.

He wrote an organ tutor in two volumes for beginners, entitled Play the Organ, which has become the most widely used in Britain in recent years.

He ran courses for advanced students in the Cumbrian Lake District, including tuition on the Bevington organ installed there.

David's hobbies included racquet sports, walking, swimming and gardening.

A more detailed account of David's life, written by Peter Sanger, is available here.

Last updated 30 September, 2013