David Bednall - Composer, Organist and Pianist


David Bednall is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation. He studied for a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol and is signed to Oxford University Press. He is Choral Director at Clifton Cathedral, Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral, Director of Bristol Chamber Choir and Chew Valley Choral Society alongside an extensive freelance career. He studied with Dr Naji Hakim and David Briggs and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral.

David was Organ Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford and then at Gloucester Cathedral where he also spent periods as Acting Director of Music and Acting Assistant Organist and was closely involved with the Three Choirs Festival. He won prizes in Improvisation and Performance at the examination for Fellow of The Royal College of Organists and has given recitals at La Trinité, Paris, and many English Cathedrals. In June 2008 he gave a recital at Notre-Dame de Paris. He has performed all the major works of Messiaen and his debut solo recording and CD of improvisations with Malcolm Archer have received excellent reviews. He has improvised on live radio and in concert. He has also appeared as stunt-organist on BBC TV’s Dr Who.

David is most prominent as a composer and his works are widely performed and recorded, and regularly broadcast on Radio 3, 4, and Classic FM. The first CD of his choral music, Hail, gladdening light, was a Gramophone Editor’s Choice, the recording of his Requiem received similar accolades, and a further recording of his choral music, Flame Celestial, received a Gramophone Recommendation. Commissions have included Missa Sancti Pauli for St Paul’s Cathedral and Welcome All Wonders for The Queen’s College, Oxford. The latter is his largest work to date and the recording on Signum has garnered superb international critical acclaim. His Stabat Mater was premiered in New York in 2015, and its recording on Regent with Jennifer Pike (violin) and the Chapel Choir of Benenden School under Edward Whiting was an Editor’s Choice in the Awards Edition of Gramophone 2016.

Recent work includes the 40–part motet Lux orta est iusto, a commission from the Finzi Trust to write a Gloria and Nunc dimittis to accompany Finzi’s setting of the Magnificat for the Three Choirs Festival 2016, commissions for Westminster Abbey and The Edington Festival, and a BBC Commission for James Gilchrist, Philip Dukes, and Anna Tilbrook which was premiered in Hull, City of Culture, in July 2017. The Presteigne Festival commissioned Regina Caeli for the 2018 Festival, and December 2018 saw the premiere of Make We Merry for Upper Voices, Brass, and Organ, commissioned by Benenden; the recording of this has been released on Regent Records. Upcoming projects include commissions for Jesus College, Cambridge and St Mark Passion.

More information can be found at www.davidbednall.com

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