Joseph Beech has held the position of Sub-Organist at Durham Cathedral since September 2019. As Sub-Organist, he is the principal accompanist to the cathedral choir and plays the organ for daily services, in addition to the choir's schedule of broadcasts, concerts, recordings and tours. He also assists the Master of the Choristers in his work conducting the choir, and in the recruiting and training of the choristers.
Born in Nottingham, Beech held the Organ Scholarship at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. As a student of David Titterington, he performed in many of London's major venues and worked under conductors including Marin Alsop, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Trevor Pinnock. Concurrent with his Academy studies, he successively held organ scholarships at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, London Oratory and St Paul's Cathedral. Having won numerous scholarships and awards during his studies, he took first prize in the Academy’s inaugural Dorothy Cooper organ competition (2016) and graduated with a first-class degree in 2017, also being presented with a Regency Award for 'notable achievement'. He holds the Academy’s LRAM teaching diploma.
Following graduation, Beech spent two years as Assistant Master of the Music at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, where he accompanied the cathedral choir in its round of daily services, on a Delphian recording of the choral works of Kenneth Leighton, which was awarded 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine, and on a number of international tours. He also conducted the choir live on BBC Radio 3.
Aside from his work at the Cathedral, Joseph maintains an active performance schedule, with recent and forthcoming concerts across the UK and in Germany, and also enjoys dedicating time to organ teaching.
Daniel Cook is Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral and is recognised internationally as a liturgical and concert organist of the highest order. In addition, he is Artistic Director of Mousai Singers and maintains a busy schedule of recitals, concerts and recordings, as well as being in demand as a conductor and teacher.
Prior to this, Cook was Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey, where he accompanied the Abbey Choir for major services, concerts, tours in Europe and the USA, as well as appearing in their famous series of recordings. Before this, Daniel was Organist and Master of the Choristers of St Davids Cathedral and Artistic Director of the St Davids Cathedral Festival. From 2005 to 2011, Cook was Assistant Director of Music of Salisbury Cathedral, where he was Principal Organist. He has worked widely as a choral conductor and has been Music Director of the Dyfed Choir, The Farrant Singers, St Davids Cathedral Festival Chorus, Durham University Choral Society and the Grange Choral Society and Orchestra.
Cook studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Nicolas Kynaston, James O'Donnell and Patrick Russill. He has twice been a finalist in the St Albans International Organ Competition. As a recitalist, he has played across the UK, Europe and Australia with performances in most of the cathedrals in Britain, plus the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall.
In demand as an ensemble performer, recent engagements have included concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Onyx Brass and London Mozart Players. His work as an accompanist has taken him all over the world and he regularly works with many of the distinguished vocal ensembles both as a conductor and organist.
He has made several solo organ recordings for Priory Records and is one of their most recorded organists. Other projects have included a performance of the complete organ works of Oliver Messiaen and CD recordings of the complete organ music of Walter Alcock, Herbert Brewer, George Dyson, Renatus Harris, Charles Villiers Stanford and Herbert Sumsion. A solo DVD, The Grand Organ of Westminster Abbey, was released in 2018.
Steven Grahl is a sought-after conductor and keyboard player. He is Director of Music and Tutor in Music at Christ Church, Oxford, an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Oxford and Conductor of Schola Cantorum of Oxford.
Grahl was Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral from 2014 to 2018, where he was responsible for training the Cathedral Choir, and for the re-pitching of the Hill Organ, on which he has recorded a solo CD. Peterborough Cathedral Choir’s recording of Cheryl Frances Hoad’s EvenYouSong, made under his direction, was released to critical acclaim in December 2017.
Previously, he was Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford, and he combined this post with that of Organist and Director of Music at St Marylebone Parish Church, London. He has also been musical director of the Guildford Chamber Choir, Peterborough Choral Society and the Stamford Chamber Orchestra. Recent conducting engagements include Verdi’s Requiem with Peterborough Choral Society and Cathedral Choirs; Bach’s Magnificat and Handel’s Coronation Anthems with the Guildford Chamber Choir and Instruments of Time and Truth; and works by Escaich, Copland, Maw, and Whitacre with Cambridge University Symphony Chorus. Grahl has worked with numerous other ensembles, including the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Guildford Philharmonic, New London Chamber Choir and Prime Brass.
Grahl was an interpretation finalist in the International Organ Competitions at St Albans (UK) in 2011, and in Dudelange (Luxembourg) in 2013, and was President of the Incorporated Association of Organists from 2017 until summer 2019. He is a prize-winning graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music, gained the top prizes in the FRCO examination and is also a holder of the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medallion. In 2010, he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Peter Holder has held the post of Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey since October 2017. He is Principal Organist for the Abbey’s daily services and at state occasions, and accompanies the Abbey Choir in its concerts, recordings and broadcasts. He is the Principal Deputy Conductor of the choir and supports Organist and Master of the Choristers James O’Donnell in training the Abbey choristers.
Having served for two years as Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey, Holder was Sub-Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral between 2014 and 2017. He regularly accompanied choral services and played a significant role in developing the portfolio of organ events at the Cathedral, including staging two Grand Organ Galas in which he appeared as soloist in concertos by Handel and Poulenc.
As a recitalist, Holder performs in cathedrals and concert halls across the world. He made his BBC Proms solo debut at the 2019 First Night of the Proms performing Leoš Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass. Ivan Hewett, writing in The Telegraph, commented that ‘it was Peter Holder’s wild organ solo which stole the show’, while BBC Music Reporter Mark Savage wrote that ‘Holder deservedly received an ovation after untangling the labyrinthine solo’.
Holder’s solo recording, Bach ist der Vater, wir sind die Buben, produced at Neresheim Abbey, has garnered much and he regularly features on BBC radio and television broadcasts.
Holder is an organ tutor at the Royal Academy of Music, where he undertook his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, and won numerous major prizes and awards. He was Pidem Organ Fellow for the academic year 2014-15. He has given masterclasses across Europe and the USA, and in 2016 was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Matthew Martin is Precentor and Director of College Music at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. He read music at Magdalen College, University of Oxford before studying with David Titterington at the Royal Academy of Music and with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris. From 2015 to 2020, he was Director of Music at Keble College Oxford and Artistic Director of the Keble Early Music Festival.
Martin spent much of his early life immersed in cathedral music and, in 2010, after six years as Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, decided to focus more on composition. Since then, he has been commissioned to write music for The Tallis Scholars, the choirs of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, Gabrieli and The Sixteen. Martin won the Liturgical category in the 2013 British Composer Awards and the first disc of his choral music, Jubilate Deo, was recorded by Daniel Hyde and the choir of Magdalen College Oxford.
More recently, he has written for the Cheltenham Music Festival (Trumpet Sonata) and The Tallis Scholars (The Lamentations of Jeremiah), while A Rose Magnificat for Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli won the Choral category in the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards. Earlier in 2019, he was asked to write a festival anthem, In the midst of thy Temple, for the choir of Westminster Abbey, marking the 750th anniversary of its refounding, and a test piece for organ (St Albans Triptych) for the 2019 St Albans International Organ Competition.
Thomas Wilson has been Director of Music at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney since February 2010. Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, he held positions at both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic Cathedrals in that city before being appointed Director of Music at Wellington Metropolitan Cathedral at the age of 18.
In 2003 Wilson moved to the UK to study organ with Professor David Titterington at the Royal Academy of Music. During his studies, he made his debut performance in the Wigmore Hall accompanying cellist Stephen Isserlis and appeared as concert soloist with the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra.
Wilson was appointed Organist and Assistant Director to the Choir of Ealing Abbey and subsequently Assistant Organist at Westminster Cathedral, where the famed cathedral choir sings daily Vespers and Mass. At Westminster he regularly accompanied and directed the choir, performed in the cathedral’s Grand Organ Recital series, toured with the choir and featured as organist on a recording of music by Victoria and Frescobaldi.
Since taking up his appointment at St Mary’s Cathedral, Wilson has established a regular schedule of daily choral liturgical services and has overseen the development of the busiest and most comprehensive cathedral music programme in Australia. The cathedral choir has appeared in concerts and festivals throughout Australia, Belgium, and Italy, broadcast on ABC television and radio, recorded several CDs and collaborated with some of Australia’s finest orchestras, choirs and solo artists.
In 2013 Wilson was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.