23rd July 1876
5th July 1944
William Gillies Whittaker was a respected English choral conductor, pedagogue, and composer. He studied science at Armstrong College, University of Durham, and also received training in organ and singing before joining its faculty in 1898. W.G. Whittaker was the 1st Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow (1929-1938) and was principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow (1929-1941). He was also was active as a choral conductor. He has particularly devoted himself to choral conducting in Northumberland and obtained conspicuously fine musical results from the choirs under his control. These have included classes at Armstrong College, the Newcastle and Gateshead Choral Union and the Newcastle Bach Choir. The last-named, a small body of picked singers, was founded and trained by him for the purpose of giving Bach's cantatas in conditions approximating to those for which they were intended. Whittaker brought his Bach Choir to London for a three days festival in 1922. He gave the first complete performance of Byrd's Great Service at Newcastle and repeated it at St. Margaret's, Westminster, in 1924.