Jonathan Bielby

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Jonathan Bielby (born 1944 in Oxford[1]) is an English cathedral organist. In 2010 he retired from Wakefield Cathedral after an exceptionally long incumbency, which had lasted more than forty years.


Bielby was born towards the end of the war in Oxford, England, the son of Leonard Bielby and Helen Joyce Bielby (born Grubb): his mother was the daughter of a Methodist minister at Knutsford and Haworth in Yorkshire.[2] His musical education included, between 1963 and 1967, a stint as the organ scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, then under the musical direction of George Guest.[3]

He took up his post as Organist and Director of Music at Wakefield in 1970.[4] Bielby oversaw the rebuild of the Willis organ in Huddersfield Town Hall and of the massive Compton organ in Wakefield Cathedral itself.[4]

In addition to his work as organist and choir director, he has composed a significant body of church and organ music.[4]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2011 he was awarded an MBE,[5] an honour conferred by the British state (formally by the British monarch).


  1. ^ "Index entry for Jonathan Bielby, birth registered Oxford Q4, 1944". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  2. ^ Darryl Lundy. "Jonathan Bielby was born in 1944 ..." The Peerage: A genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe. p. 61841. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Former Organ Scholar appointed MBE". St John's College, Cambridge. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Val Javin (6 November 2009). "Music: Farewell to organist Jonathan Bielby". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Jonathan Bielby awarded MBE". Diocese of West Yorkshire, Wakefield. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2015.