Arthur Wills, former director of music at Ely Cathedral, has died

Arthur Wills, former Ely Cathedral director of music and professor at the Royal Academy of London, has died aged 94

Organist and composer Arthur Wills

Organist, composer and professor Dr Arthur Wills has died, aged 94. From 1958 to 1990, Wills was director of music at Ely Cathedral, and also was professor at the Royal Academy of Music.

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As well as performing around the world as an organist, Wills composed extensively for organ and choir. He also wrote secular choral music including song cycles and an opera, Winston and Julia, based on George Orwell’s novel 1984. 

Several albums have been released with Wills’s works on, including organist Jeremy Filsell’s tribute to Wills in 2001 for his 75th birthday, with a disc of his organ music. Organist Robert Crowley studied under Wills at the Royal Academy of Music, and released an album of Wills’s music on the rebuilt organ at Ely Cathedral, which Wills had played for many years.

Arthur Wills was appointed OBE in 1990.

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Wills’s memoir Full with Wills was published in 2006.