Professor David Titterington

Head of Organ

MA, Hon DMus, Hon DUniv, Hon FRCO, Hon RAM

Organ - Head of Organ
Research Programmes - Head of Organ

Artistic Director of St Albans International Organ Festival

Performs worldwide at leading venues and festivals including numerous appearances at the BBC Proms and Royal Festival Hall

His collaborations with composers have resulted in the creation of many new works for organ – he premiered Sally Beamish’s Chaconne at Royal Festival Hall in 2016

Jury member for major international organ competitions

Made Professor of the University of London in 2017

David was an Organ Scholar at Oxford University before studying with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris, where he won a Premier Prix a l’unanimité avec les félicitations du Jury. He made his solo debut at the Royal Festival Hall in 1986 and his BBC Proms debut in 1990. He has performed in recitals and concertos at major festivals throughout the world, including the Bicentennial Festival of Sydney, and the International Festivals of Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, Schleswig Holstein, Tokyo and City of London.

David has collaborated with many distinguished soloists, orchestras and composers including Håkan Hardenberger, Christian Lindberg, John Wallace, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Numerous leading composers have written for him, including Diana Burrell, Lionel Rogg and the late Petr Eben. David is constantly in demand on the international concert stage with recent performances in London, Moscow, Canada, Japan, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Italy, Luxembourg and Austria.

In the BBC Proms 2000, he gave the UK premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s Ninth Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; in 2004, he played in the 50th anniversary series at the Royal Festival Hall featuring a commissioned work Toccare Incandescent by Stephen Montague. At the 2009 BBC Proms, he gave a solo recital of works by Edward Elgar and Peter Dickinson.

Since 1997, David has been Visiting Professor of Organ at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He has been organ consultant to Pembroke College, Oxford, the Chapel Royal at HM Tower of London and  St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is currently organ consultant to Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and Canterbury Cathedral. In 1999 he was awarded Fellowship (honoris causa) by the Royal College of Organists, and an Honorary Doctorate and Professorship by the State University of Budapest. In 2010 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Huddersfield.

David has been a jury member for numerous international organ competitions including St Albans, Dublin, Graz, Biarritz and the Concours Ville de Paris. In 2007, David was appointed as Artistic Director of the International Organ Festival at St Albans.

David was appointed Head of Organ at the Academy in 1996 and was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music in 2008.

‘Titterington set out [Carl Nielsen’s Commotio’s] stall with terrific panache – the organo pleno introduction yielding to a parade of quieter, stylish registrations, flattering the instrument’s range as much as Titterington’s refined ear, and he played the whole with incisive, rhythmic punch... Atmospheric and scored with great originality, [the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s] Chaconne and Titterington’s playing of it were hugely impressive.’ – Classicalsource

Personal philosophy of teaching

Discovering how to express ourselves as musicians is a life long journey which we all have in common. The technical aspects of our instruments can be taught and with practice mastered. But the real challenge is learning to find the music that lies hidden between the notes on the page. I believe the wider the context of music making our organists can be exposed to, the more they will discover and better themselves as musicians and performers.

I am passionate about organists learning to immerse themselves in repertoire beyond the familiar and comfortable. At the Academy, chamber music is very much at the heart of our activities and the new organ in the Duke’s Hall has provided a wonderful resource and space in which organists can learn to perform in a secular context, especially new music. As Artistic director of the St Albans International Festival and organ curator at St John’s Smith Square, I have been able to give organ Academy students opportunities to work on several important festival projects which have challenged their horizons and been an inspirational musical experience.

Selected recordings

La Nativité du Seigneur – Olivier Messiaen (Hyperion)

Toccata & Fugues – Johann Ernst Eberlin (ASV)

Job – Petr Eben (Multisonic)

The organ of Pembroke College, Oxford (Classical Recording Company)


Staff Finder