Kenneth Tickell dies
29 July 2014
British organ builder Kenneth Tickell died suddenly on 24 July, following a pulmonary embolism.
Having trained in organ building with Grant, Degens and Bradbeer, Tickell established his first workshop in Northampton in 1982. From that time, he built up a business of nine full-time staff members to match an impressive portfolio of mainly new instruments, among them chamber organs for Westminster Abbey and Canterbury, Lincoln, Bristol, Truro, St Davids, Hereford and St Paul’s, London cathedrals, and for Magdalen College, Oxford, and Jesus and Selwyn colleges, Cambridge; and from his first 3-manual instrument for Douai Abbey in 1993, large organs for St Barnabas, Dulwich, Eton College, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Lincoln’s Inn Chapel, London, St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle upon Tyne, and 4-manual organs for Worcester Cathedral and Keble College, Oxford. Though his commissions were mainly UK-based, Tickell also built organs for Italy, the EU Baroque Orchestra, the church of Nesbyen, Norway, the Venerabile Collegio Inglese, Rome, Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide, and the University of Queensland, Australia, and most recently Rikkyo Gakuin University, Tokyo (featured in the July/August issue of Choir & Organ).
Tickell was an accomplished organist, having studied with Robert Weddle, Francis Jackson, Simon Lindley and Gillian Weir, gaining his FRCO in 1977 and graduating in Music from Hull University (where he was organ scholar) in 1978. For many years he was Director of Music at St Mary’s, Northampton.He was a founder member and first President from 1996-2001 of the Institute of British Organbuilding, and remained an Executive Board member.