Musical Director – David Leigh
David Leigh is the Assistant Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girl Choristers at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, and pursues a busy career as keyboard player and conductor, working regularly in a widely varied repertoire with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and appearing frequently with other major Irish performing groups. He conducts two chamber choirs, The Gaudete Singers and The Ulysses Choir, and is Chorusmaster of the Culwick Choral Society.
He has enjoyed being involved in various ways with music in TCD since his arrival in Ireland in 1997, having appeared at various times with College Singers, the Boydell Singers, the Orchestral Society, the Choral Society and most recently the Campanile Consort; he also taught temporarily in House 5 last year (and was previously for many years a keyboard tutor in NUI Maynooth), and was appointed Musical Director of the University of Dublin Choral Society in 2008. He is the fourth St Patrick’s organist to hold this position, following in the footsteps of Charles Marchant, George Hewson and C. Turner Huggard.
He is a determined advocate of twentieth century British music as both soloist and conductor. David was educated at Bolton School and St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he held the organ scholarship. Whilst at school he was organ scholar of Blackburn Cathedral, also serving for a year as organ scholar (and acting assistant organist) of Lichfield Cathedral before university. At Oxford he was Assisting Organist at Magdalen College.
At the age of nineteen David became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning the Turpin and Durrant prizes, and held the Oxford University Betts Scholarship in 1995-6. He is a former student of David Sanger and Nicolas Kynaston.
Active as a solo organ recitalist, David has particularly championed large-scale late nineteenth and twentieth century repertoire, including performances of, inter alia, Francis Pott’s monumental organ symphony Christus, to date performed by only six organists worldwide, and numerous first performances of other works in Ireland. He has three times performed the complete Vierne Organ symphonies and in 2008 he presented jointly with Tristan Russcher the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in celebration of the centenary of that composer’s birth. Previous recital venues have included the National Concert Hall, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Michael’s Dun Laoghaire, and numerous other cathedrals, concert halls and churches on both sides of the Irish Sea. He has toured extensively as conductor, solo organist, accompanist and orchestral keyboard player in Ireland, the UK, continental Europe and the USA, and appears on numerous recordings with various labels, including three critically acclaimed solo discs. A recording of organ duets, played with Charles Harrison of Lincoln Cathedral, is to be released in the new year. Amongst his more unusual recording credits is the keyboard playing in the soundtrack of the film The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.