Skip to page content

 

English concert organist JOHN SCOTT is recognized not only as one of his country's finest organists and musical leaders, but as one of the most gifted concert organists in the performance world today. Since the late 1980s Scott has performed two recital tours each year in North America and has received numerous invitations to perform organ dedication recitals in the U.S. In 2004 he moved to New York to become the Director of Music and Organist at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.

Scott was long associated with St. Paul's Cathedral in London. Among the highlights of his work there was serving as soloist in the organ voluntaries and accompanist to Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981. In addition to his duties at St. Paul's, Scott served as Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music and as Accompanist of the Bach Choir under Sir David Willcocks.

Scott is particularly known for his performances of large-scale romantic and 20th-century repertoire and has premiered many works written for him by Petr Eben, Kenneth Leighton, and William Mathias, among others. He also performs earlier organ repertoire and has appeared as soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Tallis Scholars, and the King's Consort. In 1977 he became the youngest organ soloist to appear at the Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall; he performed his second Prom recital in August 1996. He has performed with the Royal Philharmonic under Sir Charles Groves and the London Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas.

His career as a solo recitalist has taken him to the U.S., nearly every European country, Canada, Australia, the Far East, and South America. In November 1989 he inaugurated the new Rieger organ in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and in 1990 was invited to concertize in Washington National Cathedral to celebrate its completion. Scott was a featured recitalist at the 1998 American Guild of Organists convention in Denver and was presented in recital in New York City as that AGO chapter's "International Performer of the Year" also in 1998.

John Scott was born in Wakefield, England, and received his earliest musical training as a chorister at Wakefield Cathedral, where he later served as Assistant Organist. While still in school he gained diplomas from the Royal College of Organists. From 1974-1978 he was Organ Scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he served as assistant to George Guest. He also studied with Ralph Downes and Dame Gillian Weir. In 1984 he became the first British musician ever to win the prestigious International J.S. Bach Organ Competition in Leipzig, Germany.

He has many award-winning recordings to his name on the Guild, Hyperion, Nimbus, and Priory labels, including the organ music of Elgar, Mathias, Dupré, and the complete organ works of Duruflé and Mendelssohn. John Scott has participated in major organ festivals throughout the world, both as performer and competition judge.