RENOWNED musician Donald Hunt, who served as master of choristers and organist at Worcester Cathedral for 20 years, has died aged 88.

Tributes have flooded in across social media for Dr Hunt, who was also closely associated with the Three Choirs Festival and the Elgar Association, and was awarded an OBE in 1993.

He died at home in Worcester on Saturday (August 4) surrounded by his family – wife Jo, and children Jacqueline, Tom, Nick and Jane.

Tom, Dr Hunt’s eldest son, said he died listening to a recording of himself playing the organ at Worcester Cathedral, having celebrated his birthday days before.

The Gloucester-born conductor arrived in Worcester in 1976 to take up his position at the cathedral, having spent nearly two decades as choirmaster and organist at Leeds Parish Church.

“Music was his life,” said Tom. “Elgar in particular and working in Worcester you can’t really avoid him – and that’s just the way dad liked it.

“He took great pride in promoting the music of Elgar through concerts, lectures and books.”

Born in 1930, Dr Hunt had served as chorister at Gloucester Cathedral in his youth, before studying under composer Herbert Sumsion from the age of 13, becoming his assistant at 17.

While his debut concert as conductor came in 1957, leading the Halifax Choral Society in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius.

Just prior to his move to Worcester, he was awarded a doctorate degree from Leeds University in 1975.

During his long association with Worcester, Dr Hunt also served as artistic director and conductor at the Three Choirs Festival on eight occasions.

He went on to serve as principal of the Elgar School of Music and led choral performances at the 150th Elgar Anniversary Festival in the city in 2007.

Tom said: “He continued conducting, writing and lecturing right up to the end – he never stopped.”

A memorial evensong will be held at Gloucester Cathedral on September 16 at 3pm. A service of thanksgiving will also be held in Worcester in the near future.