B i o g r a p h y
Ralph Cupper was born into a bilingual family. His Father was English and his Mother is German and came originally from Stettin in Germany. He was raised in his Father’s home city of Norwich, within the county of Norfolk.
Ralph had piano tuition with Edna Watering when he was 6 years old. Later he had organ tuition with David Storey and Peter Notley and clarinet tuition with Charles Unwin. Whilst he was at the well known Hewett School, he became a member of the school choir. It was at that time Ralph Cupper became influenced by the music department for which Colin Clouting and the distinguished pianist Eileen Last had responsibility for. It was during this period that Ralph had piano tuition with Eileen Last.
After he concluded his studies at the Hewett School, Norwich, Ralph studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His teachers included: Douglas Hawkridge - organ; Dr. Douglas Hopkins Choir/orchestra direction; Drs. Arthur Pritchard and Arthur Wills – harmony, counterpoint and fugue.
After he graduated in 1976, he did an extended course of organ studies with Nicholas Kynaston and the late Lady Susi Jeans. This was funded with the help of a stipend from ‘The Alderman Norman Foundation’. In 1979 Ralph Cupper was awarded a Stipend from ‘The Arts Council of Great Britain’ to study the organ with the Dutch organist Bernard Bartelinck, who was at that time organist at the Bavo Cathedral in Haarlem in the Netherlands.
After his studies Ralph came back to his home city of Norwich to begin his career as an organist and music teacher within Norfolk County Council’s Adult Education Department. At that time he also studied Theology and Andragogy in Cambridge.
In 1988 Ralph Cupper became a registered member of the ‘Norsk Kantor og Organistforbund’ and was thereupon successfully appointed to the position of Cantor in the State Lutheran Church in Nordfjordeid. Nordfjordeid is a picturesque little market town on the western coast of Norway, about six hours from Bergen.
Ralph Cupper is known as an organist, church musician, composer, pianist and has held many concert tours in England, Germany and Norway. In addition to this he has just completed a successful tour of Poland. Ralph has also worked for the Norwegian TV channel NRK and the BBC.
Since he has been living in Norway, Ralph has recorded two CD’s with the distinguished Norwegian saxophonist, Inge Asbjørn Haugen. In these two CD’s, he has successfully combined traditional organ music with popular film music.
Ralph is also known in Nordfjordeid for supporting the local community by fund raising events.
Every year Ralph arranges a local musical festival in Nordfjordeid, called ‘Aftenmusikk’. In this capacity he has had the opportunity to invite musicians, choirs and orchestras to Nordfjordeid, not only from Scandinavia but also from other european countries.
‘Aftenmusikk’ takes place each week in February, and encourages tourists to visit the municipality of Eid. This music festival, which has existed for over five years, is now the cultural high point of the churches year in this district.
When Ralph is not working musically for the church or travelling extensively on his concert tours, he has many other interests. He is an active local preacher and is especially interested in the old biblical languages. Other interests include collecting and repairing old dental equipment. Ralph is also a member of Ophthalmic Photograhers’ Society.
Ralph is married to the distinguished author, Karin Suzanne Cupper. They have two Sons, Matthew and Mark as well as two faithful dogs, Monty and Chelsy, a cat called Bella and several gerbils.