Tom Winpenny is Assistant Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral, the former monastic abbey north of London which is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in England.
His duties at the Cathedral include accompanying the daily choral services and directing the acclaimed St Albans Abbey Girls Choir. Previously, he was Sub-Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, and during this time he performed with the Cathedral Choir at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Minneapolis/St Paul, performed under Valery Gergiev in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the London Symphony Orchestra, and played for many major state occasions. He has broadcast regularly on BBC Radio and has featured on American Public Media’s Pipedreams.
He began organ lessons under John Scott Whiteley while a chorister at York Minster, and continued as a Music Scholar at Eton College under Alastair Sampson. He subsequently studied with Thomas Trotter and Johannes Geffert, and won First Prize and Audience Prize at the 2008 Miami International Organ Competition.
Earlier in his career he held the post of Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral and then at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, before spending three years as Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a degree in music and twice played for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast worldwide. With the Choir of King’s College, he gave concerts in the USA, Hong Kong and throughout Europe, in addition to appearing as their accompanist on CD releases on EMI Classics.
His many solo organ recordings include Olivier Messiaen’s cycles L’Ascension and La Nativité du Seigneur (Naxos), discs of music by Malcolm Williamson and John Joubert (Toccata Classics), music by Lennox and Michael Berkeley, John McCabe and Charles Villiers Stanford (Resonus Classics), and music by Judith Bingham (Naxos). He directs St Albans Abbey Girls Choir in recordings of choral works by Mendelssohn and William Mathias, also on Naxos.
He has taken part in the first performances of works by Judith Bingham, Jonathan Dove, Francis Grier, Cecilia McDowall, Francis Pott, Alec Roth and Judith Weir. As a soloist, he has performed throughout the UK, in mainland Europe, and in the USA. In recent years he has given recitals in Birmingham Town Hall, Salisbury Cathedral, Hildesheim Cathedral and Kristiansand Cathedral. He has also featured as organ soloist in John Rutter’s Christmas celebration concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
He is much in demand as a choral director and as a teacher: he serves as an organ tutor for the annual Eton Choral Courses and is Musical Director of the London Pro Arte Choir.
“Tom Winpenny displayed his sensitive musicianship over and over again both as soloist and impeccable choir accompanist.”… “a stylish, virtuoso performance”
“Tom Winpenny…creates, stimulatingly, and atmosphere of rapt attention [...] through his sense of how to match pace […] to the acoustic.”
“Winpenny has hit the jackpot to my mind with a wonderfully varied assortment of repertoire, fully exploring the wonderful sounds of the 1962 Harrison whilst showing off his fabulous playing”
“Once again, Winpenny delivers a fine performance and lets Messiaen’s intensely personal expression of faith speak through the music without getting in the way.”