Fonds BC1444 - Edgar Cree Papers

Reference code



Edgar Cree Papers


  • undated (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Name of creator


Biographical history

"Dr Edgar Cree, who died last week in Durban, was a well-known conductor and broadcaster in South Africa in the years between the second world war and the early 1990s.

Born in Sheffield, England, in 1914, he was only 14 years old when he first conducted as a pupil at Oundle School. He ran away from school to audition for the post of assistant organist at Peterborough Cathedral and, although his father took him back to school, the cathedral kept the job for him and he became the youngest cathedral organist in Britain. Later, he became an organ scholar at Kings College, Cambridge and then trained at the Royal College of Music under Ralph Vaughan Williams.

During the war, Edgar Cree joined the RAF and served as a pilot with Coastal Command. He came to South Africa in 1946 when he joined the SABC as the conductor of their symphony orchestra, a position he held for 28 years. He was also the founder of the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg.

Known as a gifted raconteur, he had his own radio programme for many years and in 1975, he was given the first honorary doctorate in music awarded by the University of Natal. He also conducted in England and Europe and during his retirement, continued to be in demand as a guest conductor of various orchestras including the then Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Edgar Cree leaves two daughters – Margaret von Klemperer"

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

A small collection of photographs,clippings, some correspondence and other papers


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

No restrictions apply

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion



  • English



Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places