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Cathedral organ scholar lands job at Chester Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral’s Organ Scholar, Alexander Palotai, has landed the coveted job of Assistant Organist at Chester...

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Cathedral organ scholar lands job at Chester Cathedral

Posted By : Shane Brennan Friday 12th April 2019

Salisbury Cathedral’s Organ Scholar, Alexander Palotai, has landed the coveted job of Assistant Organist at Chester Cathedral. He takes up his new role in September.

Chester Cathedral is famous for its weekly organ recital series, one of the longest running and most extensive series of organ recitals in the country, so for Alex the job represents a great opportunity to hear other organists play and to perform as well.

Like Salisbury’s lovely Father Willis, Chester Cathedral’s Grand Organ is regarded as one of the finest instruments in the country; something Alex can look forward to when he joins the music team there, which is headed by Director of Music Philip Rushforth and Assistant Director of Music Andrew Wyatt.

In his new role he will accompany the Cathedral Choir, take part in the weekly organ recital series, help with the training of the choristers and probationers, and assist with outreach projects.

Alex Palotai said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Salisbury, and I am thrilled to be to joining the music department in Chester Cathedral in September. I am particularly looking forward to accompanying the liturgy on the Cathedral's famous 19th-century organ, and to taking part in the weekly organ recital series; the longest-running of its kind in the country.'

John Challenger Assistant Director of Music said:

“We are delighted that Alex has been appointed as Assistant Organist of Chester Cathedral, though obviously we are very sad that he will be leaving us this summer. Alex joins a long and distinguished line of Salisbury organ scholars who have taken on a career in cathedral music, and we’re very excited indeed for Alex’s future.” 

Alex began playing the organ aged 13, when he was tall enough to reach the pedals. A former Chelmsford Cathedral chorister, he held the post of Junior Organ Scholar at the Chelmsford Cathedral from 2011 until 2013, when he won the inaugural Sir David Willcocks Organ Scholarship to Clifton College and became Organ Scholar at Bristol Cathedral.

Alex was one of the first class of organists to be taught in the Royal Academy of Music’s Junior Department and went on to study music at Oxford, winning an organ scholarship to Worcester College. He graduated in 2018 and joined Salisbury Cathedral’s music department in the September of that year.

Anyone wishing to hear Alex play can hear him performing a selection from the keyboard collection, My Ladye Nevells Booke, by the 16th century English organist and composer William Byrd, on Wednesday 12 June at 19.30. His performance on the chamber organ takes place in Salisbury Cathedral’s South Transept and is as part of this year’s South Transept Recital Series. Each recital is followed by a drinks reception and an opportunity to meet the performers.

Admission £12.50, tickets available online from https://salisburycathedral.digitickets.co.uk/events/20232?catID=20551&