Top East Lancs pianist and festival founder dies at 83

JOHN FIELDING

JOHN FIELDING

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A RENOWNED pianist who spent many years with the Blackburn Cathedral Choir has died, aged 83.

Peter Fielding, who was also responsible for setting up the Ramsbottom Music Festival, died earlier this month after a short illness.

Mr Fielding, of Chiltern Close, Ramsbottom leaves his wife Andrea, 66, child-ren Robert, Hilary, Mark, Beck, John, and Sarah, brothers Gordon and Paul, and more than a dozen grandchildren.

Son John, who lives in Northwich, Cheshire, paid tribute to a ‘humble and selfless’ man.

He said: “He was a very generous and giving man who did not amass a great wealth.

“Dad followed his heart, rather than his head, all his life and devoted many years to music.”

Mr Fielding moved to Blackburn from South-port when he was very young as his father, Har-old, sought work during the 1930s depression.

His dad and grandad, Tom, were keen on singing and music – but only class-ical – and Mr Fielding foll-owed his father into St John’s choir when he was just seven. It was around this time he also took up piano playing.

Mr Fielding again foll-owed his dad into Black-burn Cathedral Choir in 1939 and, although never particularly keen on sing-ing as piano was his first love, he rose to be choir prefect.

It was during those years he formed many friends-hips that would last thr-oughout his life.

In 1993, Mr Fielding, who had by that time moved to Ramsbottom, realised a vision when he helped set up the Ramsbottom Music Festival, which has thriv-ed ever since.

Mr Fielding, a keen Black- burn Rovers supporter, worked for many years as a biomedical scientist at Queens Park Hospital, in Blackburn.

His brother Gordon said: “Peter always had a keen interest in pathology. Even at an early age he could often be found dissecting small creatures, dead of course.

“But Peter’s main love in those early days was music and the piano. His range was wide, Beethoven to pop, the latter to the ann-oyance of his father.”

A funeral service is being held today in Rams-bottom, and a memorial service will take place at Blackburn Cathedral later in the year.

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