David Bednall is a busy composer and organist, combining an extensive freelance career with the position of Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral, PhD Studies in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol and Directorship of the University Singers. He studied the organ and improvisation with Dr Naji Hakim and David Briggs.
He was born in 1979 and studied at The Queen’s College, Oxford where he was Organ Scholar before being appointed Organ Scholar at Gloucester Cathedral in 2000. While there he spent periods as Acting Director of Music and Acting Assistant Organist, and was closely involved in the Three Choirs Festival including playing the piano with the Philharmonia Orchestra in David Briggs’s Creation. In 2002, he became Sub Organist at Wells Cathedral before being appointed Assistant Organist there in 2005.
He was a prize-winner in improvisation and performance at the examination for Fellow of The Royal College of Organists in 2002, and has given recitals at L’Église de La Trinité, Paris, Westminster Cathedral, St Paul’s Cathedral, and
many other churches and cathedrals. Other recent engagements have included recitals at in the Jean Langlais Centenary Festival, Westminster Abbey and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as performances of the music of James MacMillan in the Bath Festival with the Bath Festival Chorus, conducted by the composer. He has performed all the major works of Olivier Messiaen as part of the Liturgical Year, and his debut solo CD for Lammas of Hakim, Messiaen and Vierne and CD of improvisations with Malcolm Archer have both received excellent critical reviews. He has improvised in concert and on live radio broadcasts. In June 2008 he gave a recital at Notre-Dame de Paris. In addition he has appeared as stunt-organist in the BBC TV series Dr Who.
Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens recorded a critically acclaimed CD of his choral music entitled Hail, gladdening light for Regent Records which was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, and have broadcast a number of his works on Radio 3 and 4. Recent work has included Missa Sancti Pauli commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis premiered on Radio 3 by Wells Cathedral Choir and commissions for the new music wells 68 – 08 festival and the Langlais Festival. In November 2008 his Requiem was premiered in St James’s Church, Spanish Place with St Mary’s School, Calne, Edward Whiting (Director) and Philip Dukes (Viola) and was recently given its US Premiere in St Mary The Virgin, Times Square, New York. This has been recorded by these forces and released on Regent Records to great critical acclaim. In addition Wells Cathedral Choir has released a further recording of his choral music on Regent entitled Flame
Celestial which has received much critical praise, including a Gramophone Recommendation in the September 2010 edition of the magazine. He recently appeared as a guest on Radio 3’s The Choir with Aled Jones for a programme about organist-composers.
More information can be found online at www.davidbednall.com
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