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Anthony Milledge (OS 1961)

The school is saddened to report the death of Old Stopfordian Anthony Milledge (OS 1961), aged 73.  Anthony died on 2nd February 2017.

Anthony was a professional musicologist, organist, accompanist, composer, conductor, teacher, pianist, Musical Director of Furness Bach Choir and the Musical Director of the Holborne Players and choirs in London and Cumbria.

Anthony Milledge was born on 8th July, 1943 in Epping, Essex to Joseph Walter and Emily Milledge.

Educated at Stockport Grammar School and Manchester University, Mr Milledge later gained a doctorate from Durham University.

SGS music staff Geoffrey Verney and Douglas Steele were a huge influence and Mr Milledge’s musical abilities blossomed. He gained the Associate of the Royal College of Organists diploma at the age of sixteen and then began his first job as a professional church organist at St John’s, in Longsight, Manchester. Later he was organist at St Philip’s, Kensington and Kingsway Hall in London. His last organist job was at St Mary of Furness, Barrow-in-Furness. He gave regular organ recitals in the City churches and latterly at Cartmel Priory, Cumbria.

He fell in love with the Lake District, particularly the Crake Valley, living in Lowick Bridge in the late 70s and 80s while working at John Ruskin School, Coniston, while maintaining recitals, conducting, teaching and research work in London.

He was Head of Music at Mountview Theatre School, with whom he toured the USA. He taught music for the Open University in London from its beginning in 1969 and also at the Centre for Young Musicians, London which began in 1970. He played piano with Ballet Rambert and in recording sessions and broadcasts as well as concerts.

From 1980 to 2011 Mr Milledge was Director of the Canonbury Chamber Choir, which was acclaimed in the press as one of the best chamber choirs in London and often provided a concert showcase for his compositions, editions and reconstructions of previously lost baroque and renaissance music. He created the Holborne Players, an orchestra of top-level baroque instrumental specialists, who often performed with the Canonbury Chamber Choir.

After many years of working in London, he returned to Cumbria with his family in 2003, settling near Swarthmoor.

There he conducted Barrow Male Voice Choir and Furness Bach Choir, regularly bringing the Holborne Players to perform with Furness Bach Choir.

He acted as the Musical Director of the Furness Bach Choir from 2007, introducing the choir to sing in several languages and encouraging young singers to join.

Mr Milledge had two sons, Alex and Simon from his first marriage, and was a stepfather to Taneli.

In recognition of his contribution to the musical profession, Dr Milledge’s name was added to the Book of Remembrance in the Musicians’ Chapel, London at the Service of Thanksgiving in May 2018.

His widow, Deborah Milledge, said: “My husband was a dazzlingly brilliant performer at the organ, his principal instrument, as well as a world-class performer on piano and harpsichord.

“While his musical personality was huge, heroic and fearless, he himself was modest, generous and kind, a loyal friend with an ever-ready sense of mischief and a lovely smile.”

Old Stops’ Review

Our annual magazine which features news from and interviews with Old Stopfordians, memories of times gone by and highlights from the past school year.