Hugh Blair (composer)

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For other people named Hugh Blair, see Hugh Blair (disambiguation).

Hugh Blair (25 May 1864 – 22 July 1932) was an English musician, composer and organist.

Born in Worcester, Hugh Blair was the son of Rev. Robert Hugh Blair, who founded Worcester College for the Blind in 1866. A chorister at Worcester Cathedral and a pupil at King's School, Worcester, Blair was organ scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. 1886, Mus.B. 1887, M.A. 1896 and Mus.D. 1906.

He was Organist of Worcester Cathedral from 1895 to 1897, having been Acting Organist before that time. Edward Elgar dedicated his cantata The Black Knight to Blair, who was conductor of the Worcester Festival Choral Society, which gave the first performance on 18 April 1893, at a time when Elgar was little known outside Worcestershire. Blair also asked Elgar to write an organ voluntary for the visit of some American organists to Worcester, and received Elgar's first Organ Sonata as a result (with the opening theme being reminiscent of a theme from The Black Knight).

Blair introduced the Verdi Requiem to the Three Choirs Festival in 1896.

Worcester Cathedral Library contains copies of his compositions. His Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in B minor for double choir is still performed and recorded.

Cultural offices
Preceded by
William Done
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Worcester Cathedral
1895–1897
Succeeded by
Ivor Atkins

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