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Much-honoured British conductor, organist, academic and composer Philip Ledger was born at Bexhill-on-Sea on 12 December 1937 and studied at King's College, Cambridge. In 1961, as master of the music at Chelmsford Cathedral, he was the youngest cathedral organist in England. He became director of music at the University of East Anglia four years later, and in 1968 became one of the artistic directors of the Aldeburgh Festival, alongside Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, conducting at the opening concert at the rebuilt Snape Maltings and playing continuo on Britten's Bach and Purcell recordings.
Philip Ledger was best known for his period as director of music at King's College Cambridge (1974-82), where he conducted the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, recorded and toured extensively with the choir and produced new compositions and arrangements.
From 1982 until retiring in 2001, Ledger was principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. After this period, he appeared extensively as a conductor and concentrated on composing.
Philip Ledger died from cancer on 18 November 2012, aged seventy-four.