Conductor – Benjamin Chewter

Benjamin Chewter is the Assistant Director of Music at Chester Cathedral.

He is responsible for the accompaniment of daily services and manages broadcasts, tours and recordings involving the Chester Cathedral Choir. He also assists with the training of the choristers and directs Chester Cathedral Nave Choir.

Benjamin was educated at Christ's Hospital School and held the Organ Scholarship at Canterbury Cathedral before going up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as Organ Scholar. He read Music at Cambridge and was Organist of King’s Voices, the mixed-voice choir of King’s College Chapel. Whilst at Cambridge, he received coaching from David Hill, Christopher Robinson, David Briggs and the late David Sanger. Following this, he held the Organ Scholarship at Westminster Abbey under the direction of James O'Donnell. He was also Assistant Organist at Lincoln Cathedral for three years before joining Chester Cathedral.

As an organist and conductor he has performed extensively throughout the UK. Recent venues include Westminster Abbey amd Lichfield, Coventry, Blackburn, St Albans and Gloucester Cathedrals. He also frequently performs abroad and has recently travelled to Sweden, Mexico, Latvia, France, Poland and Germany. He appears regularly as an organist for the BBC Daily Service on Radio 4. Plans for 2013 include the launch of his debut solo disc Organ Showpieces from Chester Cathedral and recitals at Westminster Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral.

Contemporary music has a strong place in his repertoire. In 2007 he premiered a large-scale organ work by the Romanian composer Ciprian Ilie and conducted two operas by Nicholas Shardlow and Peter Foggitt in Cambridge. In 2011-12 he premiered Howard Skempton’s Wedding March in Chester Cathedral and performed Philip Moore's Psalm 23 with Lincoln Cathedral Choir and Francis Pott's Chester Service with Chester Cathedral Choir. The latter performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Benjamin continues his studies in organ repertoire and improvisation with David Briggs and Stephen Farr. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and also holds the College's Choral Conducting Diploma.

‘A concert combining incandescent virtuosity with warm, expressive musicianship.’ (Hildesheimer Allgemeine, Germany, January 2005)

‘Benjamin Chewter accompanies throughout with sensitivity and negotiates Warlock’s extreme harmonies of the solo version of Bethlehem Down admirably.’ (Richard Lyne, Organists’ Review, December 2012)

'Chewter is both a real virtuoso and very musical player with a real gift for unearthing new colours.' (Hildesheimer Allegemeine, Germany, January 2013)

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