Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Steven Grahl to replace Stephen Darlington at Christ Church

10:42, 5th February 2018

Steven Grahl has been appointed as the new organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. He will take up the office in September 2018, replacing Professor Stephen Darlington, who is retiring after 32 years.

As well as being director of music for the Cathedral, and overseeing the Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Grahl will also hold significant academic roles in the Faculty of Music in the University and the College.

Grahl is currently director of music at Peterborough Cathedral, where he has been in post since 2014. He is also a Junior Fellow at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, conductor of Schola Cantorum of Oxford, president of the Incorporated Association of Organists, and conductor of Peterborough Choral Society, and the Stamford Chamber Orchestra.

He was previously assistant organist at New College Oxford, and was organist and director of music at St Marylebone Parish Church, London from 2001 to 2014.

During his time at Peterborough, Grahl has directed the developed the Cathedral choir, presided over the re-pitching of the 5286-pipe Hill organ in 2015/16, and collaborated on numerous music and education projects in the city and the diocese. He has also recently premiered works by Francis Pott, Roxanna Panufnik and Toby Young.

An accomplished performer and conductor, he has given solo organ recitals in such prestigious venues as King’s College Cambridge and the London Oratory, and was a finalist at both the St Alban’s and Dudelange (Luxembourg) International Organ Competitions, and has worked with ensembles including the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, Instruments of Time and Truth, the Guildford Chamber Choir, and Cambridge University Symphony Chorus.

The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, described Grahl as ‘an exceptional musician, who will lead our Choir into the next decade, and take it to even greater heights’.

He added: ‘His predecessor, Stephen Darlington, will be a hard act to follow! But I know in Steven Grahl we have the right person for the job.’

Grahl said he was ‘delighted and honoured’, adding: ‘The opportunity to continue Stephen Darlington’s excellent work and to contribute as a scholar and teacher to the vibrant life of the University is a most exciting prospect. Whilst I am sorry to be leaving Peterborough Cathedral after four richly fulfilling years, I am very much looking forward to shaping future developments in the musical life of Christ Church Cathedral.’



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