Andrew Nethsingha appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers

Tuesday, 5th July 2022

Andrew Nethsingha appointed Organist and Master of the Choristers

Andrew Nethsingha, currently Director of Music at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, has been appointed the new Organist and Master of Choristers at Westminster Abbey.

He will succeed James O’Donnell, who has been appointed as Professor in the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He will leave the Abbey this Christmas, and Andrew Nethsingha will replace him in the New Year.

As the Abbey’s Director of Music, the Organist and Master of the Choristers is the head of the Abbey music department and oversees all musical aspects of the Abbey’s work, including directing the celebrated Choir of Westminster Abbey.

Since its foundation in the fourteenth century, the Choir has sung daily services in the Abbey and today has a worldwide reputation for its work, which includes concerts, broadcasts, and a critically acclaimed series of recordings for Hyperion Records.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said:

‘I am delighted that we can look forward to welcoming Andrew Nethsingha into our life, our work, and our worship. He is an exceptional musician who needs no introduction to those who visit ‘places where they sing’. He is known to audiences at the Three Choirs Festival and to the many who have experienced St John’s Advent Carols, a series of marvellous recordings and otherwise shared in years of music made for the glory of God. He is also known for his kindness, intelligence and readiness to explore the potential for music to enhance divine worship.
‘Under James O’Donnell the Abbey has enjoyed a golden age of music making. We are so grateful. His legacy is in safe hands.’

Andrew Nethsingha said:

‘I am excited to have been appointed to direct the music at Westminster Abbey. It will be a great privilege to contribute to the worship in a building of such beauty and historical significance. Following the work of his eminent predecessors, James O’ Donnell has created a choir of enormous distinction, comprising choristers from the unique Abbey Choir School and some of the world’s finest adult choral singers. I have been struck by the warmth and friendliness of the Abbey community, of which my family and I look forward to becoming a part. At the same time I will greatly miss St John’s, another of the world’s finest choral foundations. I have been immensely happy there and I will be forever grateful to my wonderful colleagues at both College and College School, and to all the supremely talented people with whom I have been privileged to make music over the past fifteen years.’

A graduate and organ scholar of St John’s College, Andrew Nethsingha was appointed its Director of Music fifteen years ago in 2007 following a highly successful period as Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral. He has previously held appointments at cathedrals at Wells and Truro. He has also been artistic director of the Three Choirs Festival.