William Whitehead with The Phoenix Singers

William’s solo organ-playing career took off when he won First Prize at the Odense International Organ Competition in Denmark, 2004. Trained at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, London, his teachers have included David Sanger, James O’Donnell and Dame Gillian Weir.

Valuable inspiration was gained in his year as Organ Scholar of Westminster and subsequently as Assistant Organist at Rochester Cathedral. After four years in this post, he become a Lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, and took up a position as Director of Music at St Mary’s Bourne Street, London.

William now combines a career as a concert organist, teacher and writer. He has recently given solo concerts in Westminster Cathedral, the Toulouse les Orgues Festival, Heilbronn, and in the organ festival in Perm, Russia.

As a teacher, he has held posts at both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music, and now teaches organ students from around the country, including at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. William is Associate Organist of Lincoln’s Inn in London.

 William Whitehead is bringing The Phoenix Singers from Taunton to perform extracts from his very exciting current project, The Orgelbuchlein Project. This is a major international composition collaboration, which William is curating, to fill in the ghostly gaps of 118 missing titled pieces from J.S. Bach’s original manuscript for his Little Organ Book. Each of these gaps is to be filled with a new composition written by the most interesting composers at work today whose task is to answer the question “If Bach were alive how might he go about writing a short chorale prelude in the Orgelbuchlein (ca 1713) style?”

The Phoenix Singers started life in Devon during 1971 and has since become a prominent chamber choir in the Southwest. Now based in Taunton, members come from a wide regional area. The concert repertoire has expanded enormously over recent times, made possible by the ability and vast experience of the choir’s members. With its very eclectic approach to styles and periods of choral music including various contemporary composers and arrangers, The Phoenix Singers performs programmes that often have religious themes and draws heavily on the composers of the 16th and 20th centuries. However, the summer concert always has a decidedly light-music content, with wine and food in close support. Of the two annual Christmas events the first will involve guest performers from local schools and colleges or performing groups from further a-field and the second, just several days before Christmas, is the Festival Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The Music Director is Andrew Maddocks and the website is: thephoenixsingers.co.uk

For more concerts see www.organrecitals.com

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