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Malcolm Sargent (1895 - 1967)

Malcolm Sargent was born into a well-established working-class family in the Lincolnshire town of Stamford, where his father was a coal-merchant as well as a parish church organist and choirmaster. A day-boy at the town’s school, Malcolm was taught to play the piano by the same fine musician who taught the composer Michael Tippett, and was sufficiently precocious to be asked in 1909 to substitute for an absent conductor at a local rehearsal of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers (making a good impression) and to gain the Royal College of Organist’s diploma at the age of sixteen; after which he was an articled pupil to the organist of Peterborough Cathedral, the formidable Dr Haydn Keeton. In the year of the outbreak of World War I, 1914, Sargent was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Durham and became organist at the parish church in Melton Mowbray. After a brief spell in the army he settled in the Midlands, teaching and conducting amateur societies in Melton Mowbray and Stamford, as well as studying with Moiseiwitsch, and gaining a doctorate from Durham in 1919.



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