ROBERT QUINNEY


Robert Quinney enjoys a growing reputation as a brilliant exponent of the organ repertoire - in particular the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. In addition to his solo performances, he is frequently heard as an ensemble player and conductor. All three activities are combined in the post of Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey.

Robert Quinney studied at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, where he was Organ Scholar from 1995 to 1998. In addition to his daily work with the world-famous King's College Choir, he began to develop a keen interest in academic music, eventually gaining a double first in the tripos. After graduating he spent a further year in Cambridge, preparing a thesis that traces contrasting strands of Bach reception through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, towards the polar opposites of twentieth century modernism, Arnold Schoenberg and Igor Stravinsky.

During his postgraduate year Robert also produced an exhaustive survey of Bach's Church Cantatas, in preparation for Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, in which he was also a performer. He remains much in demand as a continuo player.

Having earned the M.Phil degree for his work on J S Bach, Robert Quinney left Cambridge, spending a year as Acting Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey. He moved to Westminster Cathedral in September 2000 as Assistant Master of Music. In addition to daily work with Westminster Cathedral Choir, he organised and gave many of the Cathedral's organ recitals, including a performance in 2001 of Francis Pott's monumental Organ Symphony Christus. Shortly before returning to Westminster Abbey in September, 2004, he made two recordings on Westminster Cathedral's Grand Organ, released on the Signum label (for more details, click here).

As a solo performer his profile has increased steadily since winning the Royal College of Organists Performer of the Year competition in 2002. He has been heard recently at the Basilica St Johann in Saarbrücken, St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, St John's, Smith Square in London, and Symphony Hall, Birmingham; in August last year he gave three recitals in the Berliner Dom as part of Berliner Sommerfest, and in November was the organist at the Royal College of Organists Conferment of Diplomas in Manchester. He is a featured artist at the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Conference next July in Halifax, Nova Scotia.