RCO welcomes new President and Trustees

RCO welcomes new President and Trustees

Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, begins his term of office as President of the Royal College of Organists (RCO) on 1st July 2017.

The College also welcomes two new Trustees on the same date: Katherine Dienes-Williams and Dr Katharine Pardee.

Martin Baker succeeds Dr Philip Moore as President, and will serve until June 2019.

As Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, Mr Baker directs the Cathedral’s world-famous choir, and leads the music programme there.

As an organ soloist he won first prize in the Improvisation Competition at the St Albans International Organ Festival in 1997, and he remains internationally renowned for his skill in organ improvisation.

He regularly performs solo recitals throughout the UK as well as in Europe, the USA, and Russia. His 2014 gala performance at Royal Festival Hall marked the Grand Finale of the RCO’s year-long 150th anniversary celebrations.

Katherine Dienes-Williams was appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral in January 2008.

Born and educated in Wellington, New Zealand, Katherine was Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist at Wellington Cathedral, and came to England in 1991 to take up the post of Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College. She has held posts at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral as Organist and Assistant Master of the Music, at Norwich Cathedral as Assistant Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girls’ Choir and at St. Mary’s Warwick as Director of Music.

Katherine is active as a recitalist both in the UK and internationally, leads vocal workshops and residential courses both in the UK and abroad as well as RSCM residential courses. She is also active as a composer, and is a regular guest tutor for the RCO. As an organ soloist, she has performed with the Hallé Orchestra, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Katharine Pardee is Betts Fellow in Organ Studies at the University of Oxford, Music Lecturer at Corpus Christi College, and Director of Chapel Music at Wadham College. In her role as Betts Fellow, she looks after the organ scholars across the University by coaching and teaching, organising masterclasses, and facilitating their work in their college chapels.

From 1999-2001, she was interim Assistant Professor of Organ at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York); and prior to that, University Organist and Director of Chapel Music at Syracuse University, NY, where she was also a member of the faculty of the School of Music. She has made two CDs with the Pro Organo label, and has performed widely in the United States, England, and on the continent.

Having earned the MM and DMA degrees in organ performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music, she has also completed a DPhil. at Oxford, where her research is in Bach in nineteenth-century England.

Katie also serves as a Council Member of the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS), and is a Trustee of the Bach Network UK (BNUK).

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