Organist and Director of Music
Born in the UK, Daniel Hyde 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 a 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”. This September he moved to New York to take up the post of Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue.
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. 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. 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. Photo credit: Ira Lippke.
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.