Organist and Director of Music
Daniel Hyde is Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City, USA. Born in the UK, Daniel began his education as a chorister at Durham Cathedral. Whilst at school he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 17, and won the organ scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge. During his time at Cambridge University he served under Dr Stephen Cleobury, performing world-wide with the renowned King’s College Choir; he studied the organ with Dame Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston. Upon graduation with First Class Honours in Music, he was appointed as Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, serving five very happy years developing the College’s music programme, and training of a choir of men and boys and an undergraduate mixed-voiced choir. In 2009, he took up the post of Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was also an Associate Professor in Oxford University’s Faculty of Music. During his time there, the Choir became known for its “particularly fine trebles” (The Observer); a distinctive sound described in The Times as “vibrant and appealing”.
Hailed for his “attention to inner detail and clear sense of architecture" (Gramophone, June 2015), Daniel has been in increasing demand as a choral and orchestral conductor, and has worked with the BBC Singers, the London Bach Choir, the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the City of London Sinfonia. Since moving to New York in September 2016, he has directed the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys alongside the renowned Orchestra of St Luke’s and New York Baroque Incorporated. Magdalen College Choir recorded exclusively with Opus Arte, the label of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Daniel’s broad-ranging discography can be found on the Opus Arte, Linn, Naxos and EMI labels.
As an organist, Daniel has performed across the UK and the world. Recital engagements have taken him to Vienna, Finland, Germany, Holland and also Australia, where he has performed at all the major venues including the Sydney Opera House and Adelaide Town Hall. He has been a concerto soloist with the BBC Philharmonic, and with the Britten Sinfonia he has performed the Poulenc Concerto a number of times, and has recorded the Hindemith Concerto to great critical acclaim. He was awarded Second Prize and the Audience Prize in the Royal College of Organists Performer of the Year 2002 competition. A regular accompanist to the BBC Singers on BBC Radio Three, he has appeared at the BBC Proms on numerous occasions, and he made his solo debut there in 2010, performing Bach’s Canonic Variations at the organ of the Royal Albert Hall. In the 2014/15 season, he performed the complete organ works of J S Bach on the new Dobson organ in Merton College, Oxford. In February 2017 he gave a solo recital as part of Carnegie Hall’s La Serenissima festival. As an ensemble player he has appeared with Phantasm, the Britten Sinfonia, Aurora Orchestra, Gabrieli Consort and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields amongst others.
Benjamin Sheen, a recent Juilliard graduate, is one of the UK’s brightest young organists. Hailed as a ‘brilliant organist’ by the New York Times, he is the 2013 winner of the Pierre S. du Pont First Prize in the inaugural Longwood Gardens (Delaware) Organ Competition and received Second Prize and the Jon Laukvik prize at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition 2013. Benjamin started his education as a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral (under the direction of John Scott), before studying at Eton College and, more recently, Oxford University where he graduated with First Class Honours in Music, While an undergraduate, he held the position of Organ Scholar at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and became a prize-winning Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and the recipient of the prestigious Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal for 2011. As a concert organist, Benjamin has performed throughout the UK and the USA, as well as further afield in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Notable engagements have included performances in Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Duisburg Symphonie in Germany. He has also performed live on BBC radio and television and made a number of appearances on NPR’s Pipedreams. In January 2012, Benjamin made his concerto debut with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Ensemble as part of the 2012 FOCUS Festival in the Lincoln Centre. For more information on Ben’s upcoming performances, please see his website. Photo credit: Ira Lippke.
Colin MacKnight is a second year C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School, where he also received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He studies with Paul Jacobs, Grammy award winner and chair of the organ department. From 2013 to 2017, Colin worked at New York City’s Church of the Resurrection, first as Organ Scholar and then as Assistant Organist.
A frequent competition prize-winner, Colin’s first prizes and scholarships include the 2017 West Chester University International Organ Competition, 2016 Albert Schweitzer Organ Competition, 2016 Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition, M. Louise Miller Scholarship from the Greater Bridgeport Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the 2013 Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition, and the Ruth and Paul Manz Organ Scholarship. He also won the New York City AGO Competition and advanced to the Northeast Regional Competition and won first place. As winner of the regional competition, he gave a “Rising Star” recital at the AGO National Convention in Houston in June 2016. This October, Colin will be participating in the Canadian International Organ Competition.
Colin also received the Clarence Snyder Third Prize in the Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition, second place in the 2014 John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship Competition, second place in the 2013 New York City AGO competition, and was a finalist in the 2016 First Presbyterian National Organ Competition in Fort Wayne and the 2015 Taylor Organ Competition in Atlanta. In December of 2016, Colin and composer Jon Cziner were selected for an AGO Student Commissioning Project grant, resulting in Jon’s work Fantasy Chorale which Colin premiered in June 2017. Colin is a fellow of the American Guild of Organists. For more information, media, and a calendar of performances, please visit colinmacknight.com.