Donald Frederick Hunt OBE is a famous English chorus conductor who hails from Gloucester. In 1957, he began conducting the Halifax Choral Society.
Hunt was an organist and chorister at Gloucester Cathedral as a child. At the age of 17, he became the assistant to Herbert Sumsion, the cathedral’s organist. Hunt held this position until he was 22 years old. From 1954 to 1975, Hunt served as the organist and choirmaster at St John’s Church in Torquay. In 1975, Leeds University granted him a doctorate honoris causa. Additionally, he worked with the Leeds Philharmonic Society, Halifax Choral Society and Huddersfield Glee and Madrigal Society— concurrently with his work at Leeds Parish Church — from 1958 until 1975. He also served as Leeds City Organist and was a lecturer at Leeds College of Music.
He served as the Worcester Cathedral’s master of choristers and organist from 1976 to 1996. During this time, he was also associated with the Three Choirs Festival and served as its artistic director and conductor eight times between 1975 and 1996. In 1993, he was awarded an OBE. After leaving Worcester Cathedral in 1996, he led many choral performances as music advisor at the Elgar School of Music in Worcester. He passed away on August 4, 2018, at the age of 88.
Hunt wrote many books about Edward Elgar and Samuel Sebastian Wesley. He was also a member of the Elgar Society and made many recordings of Elgar’s music as well as music by other British composers like Charles Villiers Stanford and Herbert Howells.