Allen, Hugh Percy
b Reading 1869, d Oxford 1946. Organist of St Saviour’s Reading at the age of 11, and at 18 asst organist at Chichester Cathedral and asst music master at Wellington Coll. Studied at Oxford, performing Bach cantatas in his college chapel (BMus, then DMus); organ scholar of Christ’s Coll Cambridge from 1892. He was Organist at St Asaph and Ely cathedrals before returning to Oxford in 1901. He remained there for the next 17 years as organist of New Coll, briefly a Fellow from 1908, and (from 1918 to his death) Prof of Music. During that time he revolutionised the Oxford music exams. He conducted the London Bach choir (1907–20) and other choral groups, and popularised community hymn-singing at Festivals in Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre. He was Director of the RCM 1918–37, where he considerably expanded its staff and modernised the training provided; knighted 1920. He chaired the committee for The BBC Hymn Book until his death in a road accident. He gained a reputation for his energetic drive for change; a biography by C Bailey appeared in 1948. No.87.