St Augustine’s Chapel, St Monica Trust, Cote Lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol BS9 3UN


MA (Oxon)

Benjamin Nicholas is Organist & Director of Music at Merton College, Oxford and Music Director of The Oxford Bach Choir. He has held posts at Chichester and St Paul’s Cathedrals and was Director of the Edington Music Festival. As a conductor, he has appeared with the Philharmonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, The BBC Singers and The Holst Singers. At Merton, he directs the College Choir and the Girl Choristers, and he was heavily involved with the installation of the Dobson Organ and the founding of the Passiontide at Merton festival in 2010. He was elected a Bodley Fellow of Merton in 2018.

Benjamin’s recordings include discs of Weelkes, Mozart (Solemn Vespers and Coronation Mass), Stainer, Stanford, Rutter and Alain on the Delphian label, and earlier recordings on the Signum and Priory labels. With Merton College Choir, he won the ‘Choral Award’ at the 2020 BBC Music Magazine Awards for the recording of Gabriel Jackson’s The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. His recording of Elgar’s organ music was an Organists’ Review Editor’s Choice.

He has been involved in the commissioning of many choral works and has conducted the first performance of music by Birtwistle, Chilcott, Dove, Jackson, MacMillan, Rutter and Weir. In the Cheltenham Festival, he premiered Four Marian Antiphons by Kerry Andrew, Hannah Kendall, Dobrinka Tabakova and Judith Weir, and with the City of London Sinfonia, he conducted the first performance of Charlotte Bray’s Bach Reimagined.

Recent engagements include conducting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia, and giving organ recitals in St Paul’s Cathedral, Bath Abbey and King’s College, Cambridge. His most recent recording has just been released: Orchestral Anthems with the Britten Sinfonia and Merton College Choir.

  1. Teachers, parents and performers are advised to read the Festival Rules and the Organ Rules carefully.
  2. Age for classes to be reckoned as of 1 March of the Festival Year.
  3. A copy of music should be available for the Adjudicator before performing. This must be neatly presented and of good quality. This is not necessary for the Masterclass. See Festival Rule 14.
  4. Time limits must be strictly adhered to. See Festival Rule 7.

Field House
Lye Hole Lane
BS40 5TB

[t] 01934 906878