Oliphant Chuckerbutty

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Soorjo Alexander William Langobard Oliphant Chuckerbutty (1884–1960) (A.K.A. Wilson Oliphant) was an English composer and an organist of Anglo-Indian descent who played in both cinemas and churches. He was a grandson of Surgeon-major Goodeve Chuckerbutty, and a nephew by marriage of Sir Ganendra Roy, Director of Posts and Telegraphs in India; his maternal grandfather was journalist William Oliphant.

Little known as a composer (except for his piece "Pæan" which has entered the standard repertoire), Chuckerbutty wrote mainly for organ. He began playing the piano at six, and was composing by 14. His careers in church and cinema occurred simultaneously. Quentin MacLean called him "the only organist I know who combines whole-time cinema work with whole-time church work and makes a job of both."[This quote needs a citation]


  • c. 1902? - Studied piano with Epstein[citation needed]
  • c. 1909 - Graduated as Bachelor of Music, University of London[1]
  • c. 1908-1914 - Assistant Organist, Southwark Cathedral
  • 1909-1948 - Organist and Choirmaster, Holy Trinity Church, Paddington [2]
  • 1914 - "An Old Song" published by Boosey
  • 1920-1927 - Organist, Angel Theatre, Islington


  • An Old Song - Boosey 1914
  • Fiesta Argentina (orchestra) - Bosworth
  • Fauns and Satyrs (orchestra) - Bosworth
  • Pæan - A Song of Triumph (organ) - Bosworth
  • Queen's Procession March (organ) - Bosworth 1952
  • A Southern Night (piano) - Bosworth


  • To be or not to be - a cinema organist - CHUCKERBUTTY, S. W. The Musical Times 1938-39 (available online here.)
  • Chuckerbutty, S. W. (1938). "To Be or Not to Be: A Cinema Organist. II (Continued)". The Musical Times. 79 (1149): 817–819. doi:10.2307/923242. JSTOR 923242.
  • Oliphant Chuckerbutty, S. W. (1927). "What's Right with Cinema Music?". The Musical Times. 68 (1013): 611–612. doi:10.2307/913167. JSTOR 913167.


  1. ^ "Occasional Notes". The Musical Times. 50 (792): 90–92. 1909. doi:10.2307/906968. JSTOR 906968.
  2. ^ S. W. Oliphant Chuckerbutty (Obituary) The Musical Times, Vol. 101, No. 1413. (Nov., 1960), p. 715. JSTOR 950664