Robert Quinney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Quinney (born 1976[1] in Nottingham, England) is Director of the Choir of New College, Oxford, and was formerly Sub-Organist at Westminster Abbey and Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral.[2] In addition to his work at New College, he has a freelance career as soloist, ensemble player, and writer on music. From October 2009 till 2014 he was Director of Oundle for Organists, whose residential courses provide inspiring tuition for young organists.[3]

In 2002 Quinney was named Royal College of Organists Performer of the Year.

Education and early career[edit]

Robert Quinney was born in Nottingham[4] and was a chorister at Dundee Cathedral and then at All Saints Church, Ecclesall, where he learned to play the organ.[4][5][6]

He attended Silverdale School[7] and then received a sixth-form full academic scholarship to Eton College, which Eton offers to pupils from state schools.[4] On leaving Eton he spent a year as organ scholar of Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist of Winchester College. He was then organ scholar at King's College, Cambridge from 1995 to 1998.

On graduating from Cambridge (with BA and M.Phil. degrees) Quinney became Acting Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey.

Career at Westminster[edit]

After a year as Acting Sub Organist at Westminster Abbey, Robert Quinney moved to Westminster Cathedral as Assistant Master of Music in September 2000. In addition to daily work with Westminster Cathedral Choir, he organised and gave many of the Cathedral's recitals. In 2001 he became the fourth organist to play the monumental Passion Symphony Christus by Francis Pott.

After moving back to Westminster Abbey in 2004 he performed with the Abbey Choir on concert tours to the United States and Australia, and on a series of recordings for Hyperion. He was the principal organist for many special and daily services held at the Abbey. He won the Royal College of Organists Performer of the Year competition in 2002. His double disc The Grand Organ of Westminster Cathedral has been widely acclaimed. Quinney is also active as a continuo player and writer on music. His Short Service for boys' voices was written for the choristers of Westminster Abbey and first performed in 2008. He played the organ for the Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton in the Abbey on 29 April 2011, accompanying the choir and congregation.

Career at Peterborough[edit]

He became the Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral in April 2013,[8] where he oversaw repitching of the cathedral's organ.[9]

New College, Oxford[edit]

In February 2014, Quinney was announced as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford, and Organist and Tutorial Fellow in Music at New College, succeeding the retiring Edward Higginbottom, a post taking effect from July 2014[10]


Partial discography:


  1. ^ "Robert Quinney appointed organist at New College, Oxford". Gramophone. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. ^ "The Abbey Choir and musicians". Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Changeover at the top for Oundle for Organists - Oundle for Organists". Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Westminster organist Robert returns to his roots for recital". Sheffield Telegraph. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Sheffield organist preparing to play for royal wedding". BBC News. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Profile: 'Old buildings inspired me' says Robert Quinney". The Oxford Times. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Royal Wedding: Sheffield organist for the big day". The Star. 29 April 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Robert Quinney appointed Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral - Westminster Abbey". Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  9. ^ "£350,000 to re-tune Peterborough Cathedral's organ". Peterborough Telegraph. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  10. ^ "Robert Quinney Appointed Associate Professor and Director of New College Choir | Oxford University Faculty of Music". Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Robert Quinney (organ) on Hyperion Records". Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  12. ^ "The Organ of Westminster Cathedral - Robert Quinney - Brahms - Wagner - Dupre". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  13. ^ "O Sapientia: Advent from King's College London". Presto Music. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Andrew Reid
Organist and Master of the Choristers of Peterborough Cathedral
Succeeded by
Preceded by Organist and Master of the Choristers of New College, Oxford
Succeeded by