Monday, July 25, 2011

New Organist & Master of the Choristers at St Davids Cathedral

The Dean and Chapter are pleased to announce that Mr Daniel Cook, Assistant Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral, has been appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at St Davids Cathedral.

Daniel was born `in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1979 and received his early musical education at Durham Cathedral with Keith Wright. Following a year as Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral, he moved to London to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Nicolas Kynaston, James O'Donnell, and Patrick Russill and performed in master classes with many of the world’s leading organists including Marie-Claire Alain, Lionel Rogg and Jon Laukvik. While at the Academy, he worked as Organ Scholar at Southwark Cathedral and Westminster Abbey before graduating with first-class honours in July, 2003. While still a student, he was appointed Assistant Organist at Westminster Abbey where he participated in many important national and international services including the 50th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.

Mr. Cook moved to Salisbury Cathedral as Assistant Director of Music in September 2005. In addition to his work with the cathedral choirs, he is the principal organist of the cathedral, playing for all major services, broadcasts, concerts and recordings as well as being founder of the Cathedral Chamber Choir. Outside of Salisbury he is Musical Director of the Grange Choral Society (a 160-strong mixed choir based in Christchurch), and holds a similar position with the Salisbury based chamber choir, the Farrant Singers.

He has twice been a finalist in the St Albans International Organ Competition. As an organist he has performed throughout the UK and in Europe and the USA. Recent years have seen engagements in most of the cathedrals in Britain, several Oxbridge College Chapels and in Westminster Abbey's Summer Organ Festival. He is also well known as an accompanist and has worked with many of the distinguished vocal ensembles and choral groups in the UK such as the BBC Singers and the Holst Singers. He has made several solo CD recordings for Priory Records both at Salisbury and on other important British organs and is currently in the middle of a series of recordings of English romantic music by Brewer, Sumsion and Stanford. Recent projects have included a performance of the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in six recitals to celebrate the centenary of the composer’s birth, and a CD recording of contemporary organ music for the John Armitage Memorial Trust and Choir and Organ magazine.

Daniel said ‘I am thrilled to have been given this wonderful opportunity to direct the music in St Davids Cathedral. I can’t imagine a more inspiring place to work and I am looking forward to building on the excellent work of my predecessors.’

The Dean of St Davids, the Very Reverend Jonathan Lean, said ‘I am delighted that Mr Daniel Cook has accepted our offer to be the new Organist & Master of the Choristers here at St Davids Cathedral. I look forward immensely to welcoming him and his family to St Davids as we begin this exciting new chapter in the musical life of the cathedral.’

Welcome to St. Davids!

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