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Matthew Owens Biography

Matthew Owens

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Living in: England

Matthew Owens became Conductor of The Exon Singers in 1997. He has broadcast with them regularly on BBC Radios 3 & 4, given concerts throughout the country and directed the annual Exon Singers Festival in Devon. Under his direction, The Exon Singers has premiered a series of new works by, among others, Richard Allain, Grayston Ives and George Lloyd and recorded George Lloyd's Requiem on the Albany label. Most recently, the choir recorded the Victoria Vespers, which is the first of a series of recordings with Delphian Records.

Matthew Owens is also Organist and Master of the Choristers of Wells Cathedral, a post which he took up at the age of 33 in January 2005. He was previously Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh and Sub Organist of Manchester Cathedral.

Born in Manchester, he studied at Chetham's School of Music and was subsequently Organ Scholar at The Queen's College, Oxford. As a postgraduate he received the highest award for performance, the Professional Performance Diploma, with distinction, and the college Bach prize at the Royal Northern College of Music; gained a Master's Degree from the University of Manchester; won thirteen prizes in the diplomas of the Royal College of Organists and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He then studied at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. His major organ studies were with Gordon Stewart, David Sanger, Margaret Phillips and Jacques van Oortmerssen. From 1994-99, he was Tutor in Organ Studies at the RNCM and Chetham's.

He was Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain from 1993-1999; he has also conducted the BT Scottish Ensemble, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Hungary, Ludus Baroque Chamber Orchestra, Sarum Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of St Mary's Music School, Edinburgh. With the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral he made ten recordings, which met with considerable critical acclaim. He has further recorded extensively for Albany, ASV, Blackbox, Delphian, Herald, Lammas and Naxos labels.

As an organist he has given recitals in France, Ireland, Switzerland and throughout the UK, including numerous festival appearances. As a conductor and solo organist he has premiered many works by leading composers including Gavin Bryars, Gabriel Jackson, Naji Hakim, James MacMillan, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Arvo Part, Howard Skempton and Giles Swayne. He is increasingly active as a composer himself and some of his works have been recorded for commercial release, and broadcast on Radio 3.

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