Douglas Fox (organist)

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Dr Douglas Gerard Arthur Fox (born Putney, July 1893 - died Bristol, September 1978) was an English pianist, organist and music teacher.

Fox was born into a musical family; his father played violin and cello, his mother the piano. His mother may have been a distant relative of Thomas Ravenscroft. In 1902 the family moved to Bristol.

An outstanding organist from a young age, Fox attended Clifton College[1] and the Royal College of Music where he received tuition from Charles Villiers Stanford. From 1912-1915 he studied music at Keble College, Oxford, where he was organ scholar. Joining the military during World War I, on 27 August 1917 he was badly injured, and his right arm was amputated from the elbow.[2]

His career as a performing musician was over, and his tutors Hubert Parry and Stanford attempted to help their pupil re-adjust. Stanford recommended a career as a conductor and teacher.

As a tribute to him, his friend Hugh Allen at New College played an Evensong with only with his left hand and pedals.[3] In 1918 or 1919 Frank Bridge sent him Three improvisations for the left hand for him to practice.

He became the Musical Director of Bradfield College (1918-1930).[4] In 1922 he became conductor of the Newbury Symphony Orchestra. From 1931 to 1957 he was Head of Music at Clifton College (where one of his pupils was John Sykes (composer) and Organist of Great St. Mary's, Cambridge from 1957 to 1963. In 1958 he was awarded the OBE. He died in September 1978.


  1. ^ "Clifton College Register" Muirhead, J.A.O. p251: Bristol; J.W Arrowsmith for Old Cliftonian Society; April, 1948
  2. ^ Keble organ scholars Archived 2019-04-13 at the Wayback Machine, Keble College
  3. ^ Christopher S. Anderson, Twentieth-Century Organ Music, 2013 p.299
  4. ^ The Organ - Issues 271-282. 1990, p.156