David Bell (15 October)

Originally a silver medallist (organ) at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, David Bell was organist to Herbert von Karajan for fifteen years until the conductor’s death in 1989. In this capacity he toured all over the USA, Japan and Europe, and is the organist on all of Karajan’s recordings featuring the instrument from the mid-1970s, as well as on recordings by the conductors Vernon Handley, Kurt Masur, Sir Georg Solti and Klaus Tennstedt and Franz Welser-Möst.

This, however, was not the only stop in his professional console. He was also for many years Chief Tape Editor at EMI International, responsible for the post-production of most of EMI’s top classical artists. He is still busy as an organist today, but also finds more time than before to indulge his enthusiasm for railway matters. A particular joy a few years ago was to travel with a fellow enthusiast on every single line of the Paris Metro. He also possesses the track layout of the whole of the UK and is particularly proud of his copy of the 1916 Bradshaw timetable which gives him all the lines and stations within the UK, pre-Beeching.

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