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 has an extensive freelance career as a performer as well as being Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral. He studied with Dr. Naji Hakim and David Briggs and was Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral.

He was Organ Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford and then at Gloucester Cathedral. He also spent periods there 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.

He is active as a composer and the CD of his choral music Hail, gladdening light with Wells Cathedral Choir under Matthew Owens was Gramophone Editor’s Choice. A number of his choral works have been broadcast 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 and commissions for the new music wells 68 – 08 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) to great acclaim and was 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 just 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 on organist composers. His largest work to date, Welcome All Wonders – A Christmas Cantata, commissioned by The Queen’s College, Oxford was premiered by them in November 2011; they have released this work on Signum to superb international critical acclaim. His 40–part motet Lux orta est iusto closed the Bristol Proms 2015, and he was commissioned by the Finzi Trust to write a Gloria and Nunc dimittis to accompany Finzi’s setting of the Magnificat for the Three Choirs Festival 2016.

His Stabat Mater was premiered in New York in 2015, and the recording of this 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 projects have included a BBC Commission for James Gilchrist, Philip Dukes, and Anna Tilbrook which was premiered in Hull, City of Culture, in July 2017, Regina Caeli for the Presteigne Festival, and Make We Merry for Upper Voices, Brass, and Organ, commissioned by Benenden; this has been recorded for release in October 2019.

More information can be found online at www.davidbednall.com

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