press release:

The Music Department of St Paul’s Cathedral are delighted to announce three new organist appointments:

William Fox has been appointed Sub Organist from July 2018.

James Orford has been appointed William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar from January 2018.

Nicholas Freestone has been appointed Acting Sub Organist from January-July 2018.

William Fox is currently the Organ Scholar of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he is completing an undergraduate degree in Music. Before going to Oxford, he held Organ Scholarships at Hereford Cathedral for his gap year, and at Wells Cathedral for the duration of his sixth-form, also holding a Government-funded Music Scholarship at the Specialist Music School there. William was such a strong candidate that it was felt worth waiting until the summer in order for him to fill the position.

James Orford is currently in his third year of undergraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music. He has won numerous scholarships, organ prizes and piano accompaniment prizes whilst at the RAM, and has performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto at Cadogan Hall. In addition to his studies, James is currently Organ Scholar at King’s College, London, a position that he will be able to hold concurrently with his duties at St Paul’s until the end of this academic year.

Nicholas Freestone is the current William and Irene Miller Organ Scholar of St Paul’s Cathedral. As an experienced colleague, it was a natural fit for Nicholas to hold the position of Acting Sub Organist until the arrival of William Fox in July 2018. Nicholas joined the Cathedral following two years at St Albans Cathedral, having previously held scholarships at Wells Cathedral and Tewkesbury Abbey.


The UK Government has finally published its report on the impact of Brexit on the creative industries.

There are lots of statistics and no analysis whatsoever.

Here’s what we are putting at risk:

The Creative Industries account for 9.4% of the value of all UK services exports. Furthermore, more of these services exports go to the EU (42.5% in 2014, 45% in 2015) than the average for UK services exports.

The Creative Industries exported £14.7bn worth of goods in 2015, 38.6% more than in 2010, and this represented 5.2% of total UK goods exports. The highest export sub-sectors were “Music, performing and visual arts”, “Crafts”; and, “Publishing”.

About 45 percent of these exports were to the EU.

Read the full report here.


The Telegraph has a good interview with Roderick Williams, a former schoolteacher who has become one of the most popular opera baritones on the professional circuit. He is half-Jamaican. ‘Our obsession with diversity maybe means that my skin colour works in my favour,’ he says. ‘But I’d rather be judged on my singing.’

He’s about to sing Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses at the Royal Opera House. People often ask me why I always seem so cheerful. And I just say to them, why shouldn’t I be? I’m singing wonderful music, and I even get paid for it, too.’

What modest Rod fails to mention is that he has a debut disc out this month – as a composer. He writes really good choral music in the English tradition.

If you think the Met had problems with Tosca, stand by for broken legs in Macbeth.

Both the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company have new productions of the Shakespeare play opening one week after the other in March.

Before March is out, the Royal Opera will revive its Phyllida Lloyd production of Verdi’s opera.

Too many big Macs for one month to bear?


Friends report the death of Ronald Sipes, former principal oboe of the New World Symphony and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon of Valladolid, Spain.

He was recovering from a stroke suffered five years ago when, on New Year’s Day, his life was ended by a second cerebral incident.

Peter Martins, 71, has announced his retirement.

He had been accused by several dancers of physical and verbal abuse, as well as sexual harassment.

The Danish balletmaster has denied the allegations, insisting that he will be vindicated by an internal investigation.

Under pressure, he decided not to wait for the outcome. Martins has been in charge of NYCB for more than 30 years.

Austria has its most right wing government since… whenever.

The Vienna Philharmonic needs to choose a conductor for New Year’s Day 2019.

It calls the German conductor with the most rightwing political views.

For the first time.

A coincidence, no doubt.