The organist Carlo Curley has died

James Jolly13th Aug 2012
Curley's reputation in the UK was raised by his Decca recordingsCurley's reputation in the UK was raised by his Decca recordings

The American organist Carlo Curley has died in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire: he was 59. Born in North Carolina, Curley studied at the North Carolina School for the Arts and later with such eminent players as Virgil Fox, George Thalben-Ball and Arthur Poister. He was one of very few organists to support himself entirely by giving concerts: he never held a church post or taught.

Curley attracted a huge following from his recordings (he made discs for RCA, ProArte, Rediffusion and Decca) and concert tours. He was the first organist to perform a solo recital at the White House. He was a flamboyant performer, larger than life, who referred to himself as 'the Pavarotti of the Organ'. 

Curley favoured performing on Allen organs, but also played instruments by Rodgers, Makin and Copeman Hart. He played the vast Wanamaker organ in Macy's Center City in Philadelphia.

Here he is, playing the organ of Chester Cathedral, in John Philip Sousa's Liberty Bell in his own arrangement.

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