Richard Marlow


As director of music at Trinity College, Cambridge, for nearly 40 years, Richard Marlow was a pioneer in the introduction of women’s voices into sacred music.

While a choirboy at Southwark Cathedral, he sang at the Coronation in 1953. He went on to win an organ scholarship, and was later awarded a research fellowship at Selwyn College, Cambridge.

After three years lecturing at Southampton University, he was appointed to Trinity and soon set up the Cambridge University Chamber Choir, which, under his direction, made several critically acclaimed recordings.

Following the admission of female undergraduates to Trinity, Marlow established the college’s mixed choir in 1982. Over the next 24 years, he released more than 30 records with the choir and took them on many foreign tours.

He also set up the college’s Singing on the River concert that takes place on the Cam every June. It involves the choir singing madrigals and other works from five punts moored together in front of the Wren Library. Only once have the punts sunk.

On several occasions, Marlow was invited by Benjamin Britten to conduct one of the Bach Passions at Aldeburgh, with the tenor Peter Pears singing the Evangelist. He contributed articles and reviews to scholarly journals and books, including the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Dictionary of National Biography.

Richard Marlow, who was born at Banstead in Surrey on July 26, 1939, died on June 16 at the age of 73. He is survived by his wife, Annette, and their two sons.