Music Director

Nicholas O'Neill

Nicholas O'Neill took over as Music Director for the whole of 2023 with an option to extend his tenure into 2024 and beyond, an extension that we are happy to report has been confirmed.

Nicholas O'Neill was born in Cheltenham in 1970, and is an award-winning composer, musician, and co-author of the bestselling children's music history book
Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History. In 2020 he was awarded the Saint Fin Barre Cathedral Composition Prize, in 2019 he was the winner of the Mayfield Festival Cantata Commission Competition, in 2012 he was awarded the American Guild of Organists Marilyn Mason Award for Organ Composition, he shared the Barbara Johnstone Composition Prize in 1995, won the Gregynog Young Composers' Award in 1993, and in 1992 he was unanimously awarded first prize in the Norwich Festival Composition Competition. He has been shortlisted for the William Mathias, Cornelius Cardew, Oare String Orchestra, Purcell and Vocalis composition awards.

In 2011 Nick was appointed Composer in Residence to the UK Parliament Choir in addition to his ongoing role with them as Chorus Master, and is the first composer to be associated officially with Parliament for nearly 500 years. In 2008 he became the first musician to be appointed Composer in Residence for the Academy of Saint Cecilia where he is also an Honorary Fellow and a member of the advisory panel. He is President of Cantores Salicium (the chamber choir of the Yorkshire Dales), Head Of Music at Christ Church, Hampstead, Music Director of the Occam Singers, and Associate Director of Music at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington. He has lectured at Trinity College of Music, Birkbeck College (University of London), Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and Morley College. He has also held posts as Organist of Brighton College and St. George's Cathedral, Southwark, and was Chorus Master of the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir for over a decade. He also works regularly with Southbank Sinfonia, accompanying them to the Anghiari Festival in Tuscany, where he introduces each concert.

His music has been broadcast multiple times on television and radio, and his Missa Sancti Nicolai was the Mass setting for the live BBC1 broadcast of Midnight Mass in 2011. Recent performance venues include Cadogan Hall, St. John's, Smith Square, Notre Dame de Paris and at the London Festival Of Contemporary Church Music.

By night Nick is keyboardist with 'genuinely ingenious...undeniably brilliant' rock band JEBO, and with funk band RetroChic. He is also a board game reviewer and blogger, writing for various websites and magazines worldwide.

(Photo: Deryc Sands)

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