Ernest Bullock

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Sir Ernest Bullock CVO (15 September 1890 – 24 May 1979) was an English organist, composer, and educator.


Bullock was born in Wigan. He studied the organ with Edward Bairstow in Leeds and was assistant organist at Leeds Parish Church from 1907 to 1912. He also took courses at the University of Durham, receiving Bachelor of Music in 1908 and Doctor of Music in 1914.


After serving as sub-organist at Manchester Cathedral from 1912 to 1919, he was in 1919 briefly organist of St. Michael's College, Tenbury and then organist and choirmaster at Exeter Cathedral from 1919 to 1927.[1] In 1928 he was named organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey, and as such participated in the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937.

He became Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow in 1941 and the Principal of the Scottish National Academy of Music (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which became the Royal Scottish Academy of Music under his stewardship).. He was then director of the Royal College of Music in London from 1952 until his retirement in 1960. Among his notable pupils were Robert Ashfield, Sidney Campbell, Peter Racine Fricker, and S. Drummond Wolff.

He was knighted by King George VI in 1951. He died in Aylesbury, aged 88.


Bullock is known for his church music, especially the anthem Give us the wings of faith. His archive of original manuscripts is held by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Archives & Collections.


  1. Dictionary of Organs and Organists, Second Edition 1921, G. A. Mate (London)
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Daniel Joseph Wood
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Exeter Cathedral
Succeeded by
Thomas Armstrong
Preceded by
Sydney Nicholson
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Westminster Abbey
Succeeded by
William Neil McKie