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Open Features: Alfred Deller

Peter Wintersgill introduces counter tenor Alfred Deller, founder of the Stour Music Festival.

Born
31st May, 1912, in Margate.

Father
Thomas, gymnastic instructor.

Mother
Mary.

Adolescence
Trained in a parish church choir.

Adult life
Lay clerk at Canterbury Cathedral 1940-47, when he joined St. Paul's Cathedral choir.
He collaborated with lutenist Desmond Debra to found the Deller Consort in 1948 for the authentic performance of baroque music. He also founded the Stour Music Festival in 1963 for baroque repertoire.

He created Oberon in Britten's Midsummer Nights Dream in 1960. He helped to create a revival of the counter tenor voice. His son Mark is also a counter tenor.

He was awarded the honour of Order of the British Empire in 1970.

He died 16th July, 1979, in Bologna aged 67.

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