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Friends and family mourn loss of King's Lynn music maestro





News of the death of a well-loved music maestro has come as a shock to his friends and family.

Michael Hankinson, who lived in Lynn, had had health problems for some time.

Following a couple of visits to Queen Elizabeth Hospital he became ill with pneumonia and died at the age of 75 on Friday.

King's Lynn Male Voice Choir performs at The Minster. King's Lynn. Pictiured Conductor Michael Hankinson. MLNF-18MF012088
King's Lynn Male Voice Choir performs at The Minster. King's Lynn. Pictiured Conductor Michael Hankinson. MLNF-18MF012088

Mr Hankinson had a fascinating career in music after studying at Trinity College.

Born in Liverpool he was an organ scholar at Liverpool Cathedral, a resident conductor at South Africa's Pretoria State Theatre and worked at the Cape Town City Ballet and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Over the years music had brought him into contact with everyone from Sir Tim Rice, Lord Richard Attenborough and Nelson Mandela.

Michael Hankinson, right, meeting Lord Richard Attenborough at an after-concert party in London. (52859675)
Michael Hankinson, right, meeting Lord Richard Attenborough at an after-concert party in London. (52859675)

His involvement with Shakespeare's Guildhall Trust (SGT) and the West Norfolk Gilbert and Sullivan Society made him a prominent part of the music and arts scene in Lynn.

Mr Hankinson also became musical director of the King’s Lynn Male Voice Choir and founded the King’s Lynn Sinfonia, which staged its inaugural concert at Lynn Minster in 2015.

A spokesperson for SGT said: "We're very sad to bring the news of the untimely death of Michael Hankinson, who passed away yesterday.

When in Rome...Michael Hankinson has met many well known public figures. (52859487)
When in Rome...Michael Hankinson has met many well known public figures. (52859487)

"Michael was a founding trustee of SGT and a hugely supportive and enthusiastic advocate of SGT's vision to deliver a sustainable future for St George's Guildhall.

"Michael will be deeply missed by us all and our heartfelt condolences go to Michael's family."

Friend Amanda Arterton, also an SGT trustee, said: "It is really sad, we became staunch mates. He was always championing people that needed a lift. He hated anything that wasn't fair.

Sir Tim Rice and Michael Hankinson. (52859492)
Sir Tim Rice and Michael Hankinson. (52859492)

"He'd help anyone and was a go-getter and wasn't scared of anything. "He still had more that he wanted to do."

His son John said: "We were not expecting it. He wasn't well with a nasty chest infection and had popped in to hospital trying various things.

"We had a video call with the grand kids but his oxygen levels were quite low and he never came back."

Michal Hankinson was a music conductor and organ scholar. (52859498)
Michal Hankinson was a music conductor and organ scholar. (52859498)

His funeral will take place on Wednesday, November 17 at Mintlyn Crematorium at 1pm.

Meeting Nelson Mandela, Michael Hankinson has travelled the world in music. (52859501)
Meeting Nelson Mandela, Michael Hankinson has travelled the world in music. (52859501)
Michael Hankinson takes a bow. (52859504)
Michael Hankinson takes a bow. (52859504)


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