William Whitehead, brief biography

William Whitehead has gained a wide reputation for his engaging and inspiring interpretation of the organ repertoire. His concert career was given a boost when he won first prize at the Odense International organ competition in Denmark, 2004. Since then he has travelled widely giving concerts in Europe and the US. Rcent venues include St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Westminster Cathedral and Berlin Dom. A recorded artist on dozens of discs, he is most recently to be heard as organ soloist in Handel’s Op 7 No 1 Organ Concerto with the Gabrieli Consort (Winged Lion label). His work as a continuo player brings him together with groups such as the Gabrieli Consort, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Dunedin Consort. This year’s Proms saw him appear with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Trained at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, William Whitehead is now a sought after organ teacher, teaching many students at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Previously he has held appointments as Assistant Organist, Rochester Cathedral, and was a professor at both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music. As curator of the Orgelbüchlein project, William Whitehead is seeing through a large-scale project to 'complete' Bach's unfinished collection. This international project has already garnered much interest and is fast becoming a cross-section of the most interesting composers at work today. It will be published at Peters Edition. More information is available at www.orgelbuechlein.co.uk.

  

 

William Whitehead, longer biography


William Whitehead has gained a wide reputation for his engaging and inspiring interpretation of the organ repertoire. His concert career was given a boost when he won first prize at the Odense International organ competition in Denmark, 2004. Since then he has travelled widely giving concerts in Europe and the US. Recent venues include Westminster Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall, St Mary's Church Times Square, Berlin Dom and the Laurenskerk, Rotterdam. A recording of the music of Duruflé and Alain, 'Dances of Life and Death', was released in 2005 by Chandos Records to excellent acclaim (Diapason Découverte award). It includes William’s own transcription of the Danse Lente by Duruflé, recorded with a special license from the Duruflé estate. This was followed by a recording of the six Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas, recorded on the Ballroom Organ at Buckingham Palace. Most recently, William is to be heard as soloist in Handel's Organ Concerto Op 7 No1 with the Gabrieli Consort (Winged Lion label).

 

Trained at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, William Whitehead combines his knowledge of the organ repertoire with a honed performer's instinct. He is now a sought after organ teacher, teaching many students in both Oxford and Cambridge chapels. Previously he has held appointments as professor at both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music. He is actively involved with the Royal College of Organists, as a committee member and examiner, and has frequently taught on courses for young organists.

 

In an accompanimental role, William has been an Assistant Cathedral Organist in Rochester, where he helped to found the Girls' Choir, and now works regularly as an accompanist with groups such as the Gabrieli Consort, the Dunedin Consort and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He was awarded the ARAM in 2005, in recognition of distinction in the profession. The 2015 Proms saw him appear with the St Petersburgh Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

As curator of the Orgelbüchlein project, William Whitehead is seeing through a large-scale project to 'complete' Bach's unfinished collection. This international project has already garnered much interest and is fast becoming a cross-section of the most interesting composers at work today. More information is available at www.orgelbuechlein.co.uk.

 

Recent years have also seen him composing; several carol arrangements have gained a foothold in the repertoire, and his 'Joys Seven' has been sung by the BBC Singers, the choirs of St John's College, Cambridge and Westminster Cathedral and various other collegiate choirs.