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Monday, 6 August, 2001, 02:14 GMT 03:14 UK
Pianist Joseph Cooper dies
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Cooper worked for BBC television in the 1960's
Pianist and broadcaster Joseph Cooper has died in hospital aged 88 after a short illness.

Cooper, who was well-known for BBC2's Face the Music, died on Saturday at the Nuffield Hospital in Guildford, Surrey, said a friend.

"He was a lovely man, a real gentleman," said the neighbour of 25 years, who asked not to be named.

"He had a very active social life until quite recently and everybody will miss him greatly."

Born at Westbury on Trym, in Bristol, Cooper won a music scholarship to Clifton College followed by an organ scholarship at Keble College, Oxford.

He became a church organist, teaching piano in his spare time, before landing a job penning music for GPO Film Unit documentaries, alongside poet WH Auden and Benjamin Britten.

Cooper later established himself as a noted concert pianist, but the outbreak of war put his musical career on hold until 1946.

After the war, his recordings became best-sellers, and radio work led to an invitation to work on the show Call the Tune, in 1954.

The idea was transferred to television in 1966 as BBC2's Face the Music, giving Cooper the chance to bring his music to a wider audience.

Married twice, Cooper lived for the last 25 years in East Horsley, Surrey.

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