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A tribute to Richard Lloyd, former Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral

07 May 2021

We are sorry to hear of the death of Richard Lloyd, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral from 1974 until 1985.
Richard was born in June 1933 and was a chorister at Lichfield Cathedral. He studied at Jesus College Cambridge, and was successively Assistant Organist of Salisbury Cathedral and Organist of Hereford Cathedral before succeeding Conrad Eden as Organist of Durham Cathedral in 1974. He returned to Salisbury in 1985 as Deputy Headmaster of the Cathedral School, where he stayed until his early retirement in 1988 due to ill health. Richard devoted much of his life to composition and his distinctive choral music can be heard regularly at services all over the world. He is a particular favourite with both past and present Durham Choristers, and the choir sang his setting of “Kindle a light to  lighten the darkness” live on BBC Radio 3 for a broadcast of Choral Evensong last November.
Daniel Cook added, “Richard’s time in Durham was transformative, and his legacy is still very keenly felt here. He made several acclaimed recordings with the Cathedral choir,  and the sound of the trebles during his time was characterised by a wonderful bell-like freshness and innate musicality which perfectly reflected Richard’s own gifts as a musician. He was very supportive of his successors, and I will particularly miss his unsolicited letters and emails offering congratulations and encouragement, especially after broadcasts. He left Durham 36 years ago, but it is a testament to both the work he did here, and the quality of his personality that his death has been so deeply mourned by our community. He is and will be sorely missed, but we are tremendously grateful that we were lucky enough to have known him.”
His funeral service takes place tomorrow in Hereford. It is hoped that we will be able to hold a memorial service in Durham Cathedral later in the year.