Benedict Todd

Organist · Composer · Conductor

News archive

An archive of news as it existed in a previous incarnation of the site
before we moved to using Wordpress.


  • New Choral Piece Completed
    27 February 2015

    Benedict has just completed Psalite regi magno, a new piece written for use as a motet during eastertide. It sets a text taken from the 11th century Winchester Troper. You can find more details in the Composition Catalogue | Psallite Regi Magno.

    Psalite regi magno

  • New Music South West Concert
    11 January 2015

    New Music South West performers Steve Kings and Robyn Austin gave the première performance of Benedict’s recently completed Sonatina for ‘cello and piano. The concert, which marked the start of the NMSW 2015 season, was followed by a public panel discussion between the Bristol-based composers, led by Edward Davies (Director of Music at St Mary Redcliffe & Temple School). You can find details of the piece here.

    New Music South West


  • New Commission from New Music South West
    2 December 2014

    Benedict is delighted to have been approached by, and accepted a commission from New Music South West. The piece, which will be for ‘Cello and Piano, will be performed in the first concert of the 2015 NMSW season on 11 January 2015.

    New Music South West

    UPDATE This composition is now complete. Details can be found here.

  • Workshop with the Brodowski Quartet
    31 October 2014

    The first movement of Benedict’s String Quartet (currently in progress) was played as part of a workshop with the Brodowski Quartet today. Although the piece is still in its early stages, the opportunity to work on this small portion - particularly on some of the more technically challenging passages - was a very valuable one. Watch this space for the completed piece some time in the new year!

  • Dusley Choir Concert
    18 October 2014

    Every year in October the choir of St James put on an evening concert. This year they were celebrating the 80 years of service amassed by Lionel Jones: one of the choir’s stalwart tenors. Lionel put together the music list for this concert, which was a selection of favourite anthems from his time in the choir:

    • O Come Ye Servants of the Lord    Nigel Davies
    • Zadok the Priest    George F Handel
    • Fugue in G Major BWV 541   Johann Sebastian Bach (BT)
    • Hymn for St Cecilia    Herbert Howells
    • A Prayer of St Francis    John Sanders
    • Postlude in E-flat    Louis JA Lefebure-Wely (JND)
    • They that go down to the sea in ships    Herbert Sumsion
    • Let all the world in every corner sing    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    • Te deum in B-flat    Charles V Stanford

    This was then followed by the annual choir dinner.

    Dursley Choir Concert - the lineup
    Music for the Choir Concert on the console at St James

    or ‘A weekend in the life of Dursley Parish Choir...’

    And, as if that wasn't enough for one weekend, the next day saw the choir take on Vierne’s Messe Solenelle at the morning eucharist, complete with the choir in the west-end gallery accompanied by Benedict on St James’ nearest aproximation to a French Orgue du chœur, whilst Director of Music Nigel Davies played the Grande Orgue at the other end of the building.

    Dursley - Orgue du choeur
    St James’, Dursley’s Orgue du chœur

  • BDOA Colston Hall Gala Concert
    23 September 2014

    Every year the Bristol & District Organists’ Association arranges a free gala concert to promote the concert organ at Bristol’s largest concert venue - the Colston Hall. Benedict was very pleased to be asked to be part of the group of organists playing for this event this year. He opened the event (following directly on from a new promotional video in which he also featured!) with Henri Mulet’s Carillon Sortie and Edward Elgar’s Solemn Prelude from The Spirit of England (arr. Harvey Grace).

    The other performers were: David Chandler, Richard Morgan, James Drinkwater & Jonathan Price, the latter two accompanying Amelia Gilmartin (Violin) & Jonathan Hobbs (Baritone), as well as Roger Judd (formerly the organist at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle).

    Colston Hall Promotional Video

  • Lincoln Cathedral with the UoBCC on tour
    24 - 31 August 2014

    As seems to be rapidly becoming a tradition, Benedict once again joined with the University of Bristol Church Choir on their summer tour. This year the destination was Lincoln Cathedral. Under the direction of Christopher Burt, the current St Paul’s organ scholar, the choir sang for the regular daily cathedral worship over the course of the week, culminating with three services in quick succession on the final Sunday. It was a pleasure to share the work of accompanying the choir on the cathedral’s very fine Willis organ with another ex-St Paul’s scholar - Joe Hutchinson, who is currently the organ scholar at St John’s, Ranmoor. In addition to playing, Benedict was also delighted to be asked (by CB) to direct the choir for one of the mid-week evensongs - quite like old times!

    Lincoln Cathedral
    Lincoln Cathedral - the West Front

  • New Job Appointment
    30 May 2014

    As of the 1 June, Benedict will be taking up the post of Assistant Director of Music at St James-the-Great, Dursley. He will be working alongside the Director of Music, Nigel Davies, with the church’s thriving choir. More details about St James can be found on their website.

    St James-the-Great, Dursley
    St James-the-Great, Dursley

  • Percussion Workshop with Joby Burgess
    19 May 2014

    In a workshop organised by the postgraduate students in the University of Bristol Department of Music, internationally renowned percussionist Joby Burgess worked with Benedict on his new composition Small Symmetries.

  • Bristol Eisteddfod 2014
    22 March 2014

    At this year’s Bristol Eisteddfod (Organ Section), which was held at St Monica’s Chapel, Westbury on Trim on the 22 March, Benedict was awarded first place in both the ‘Bach’ and ‘Repertoire’ categories and was thus awarded the ‘Fiona Hunt’ and ‘Swift Music’ organ trophies. The adjudicator this year was Simon Williams who went on to deliver a masterclass (following the competitive rounds) in which Benedict also participated.

  • Bristol University Symphony Orchestra & Choral Society perform: Elgar The Kingdom
    15 March 2014

    The Bristol University Symphony Orchestra & Choral Society joined forces to perform Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom. Benedict was delighted to join the ranks of the orchestra (with whom he has often played as part of the horn section) as the organist for this performance.

    BUSO rehearsing
    Rehearsing Elgar’s The Kingdom with the University of Bristol Symphony Orchestra

  • Out of the Machine Performed at inaugural Bristol New Music festival
    23 February 2014

    Out of the Machine, Benedict’s recent piece for small ensemble, was given its second public performance on the 23 February as part of a joint concert involving both the University New Music Ensemble and the Quatuor Bozzini. This concert was part of the first ever Bristol New Music festival, which brought many leading contemporary musicians and groups, including Ensemble musikFabrik, Claudia Molliter and the Christian Wallrumrød Ensemble, to the city for an exciting weekend of musical events.

    Out of the Machine - Rehearsal
    UoB NME rehearsing at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol

  • 2013

  • Out of the Machine premièred by University of Bristol New Music Ensemble
    11 December 2013

    Benedict’s recent piece Out of the Machine was given its première performance by the University of Bristol New Music Ensemble. The group was conducted by Neal Farwell in public concert at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol which also featured music by Webern, Henze and Nico Muhly.

    Out of the Machine - Premiere poster
    Out of the Machine première poster

  • Recital at St Mary Redcliffe
    28 November 2013

    On 14 November Benedict gave a lunchtime recital at the church of St Mary, Redcliffe (Bristol). The programme, based on the theme of Music for Remembrance, was also designed to play to the strengths of the church’s magnificent Harrison & Harrison organ (which Benedict enjoyed playing enormously!).

    • ‘Great’ Prelude in C minor BWV 546 Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Solemn Prelude ‘In Memoriam’ from For the fallen Op 80 Edward Elgar (arr. Harvey Grace)
    • Le Jardin Suspendu JA 71 Jehan Alain
    • Rhapsody No. 3 Op 17, No 3 Herbert Howells
    • Fugue sur la thème du Carillon des Heures de la Cathédrale de Soissons Op 12 Maurice Duruflé

    St Mary Redcliffe
    St Mary Redcliffe

  • The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology Launch Conference
    19 October 2013

    Benedict was playing the organ during this conference, which was held in the New Room, Bristol. More details here

  • University of Bristol Composition Competition
    9 October 2013

    Benedict's recently completed composition Out of the Machine has been announced as the winner of the 2013 University of Bristol Postgraduate Composition Competition. As such, the piece will be premièred by the University’s New Music Ensemble at the public lunchtime concert on the 11 December 2013 in the Victoria Rooms, Bristol. Out of the Machine is also being considered for performance as part of the 2014 Bristol New Music Festival, more details of which will be available here in due course.

    Out of the Machine - scores
    Out of the Machine scores

  • Durham Cathedral with the UoBCC
    12 - 18 August 2013

    In August 2013 Benedict once again joined the University of Bristol Church Choir for their annual summer cathedral tour (a tradition which he was incidentally responsible for re-establishing during his time as organ scholar and director of the UoBCC). This year the choir, led by outgoing organ scholar Joe Hutchinson, visited Durham cathedral, singing the daily worship for a week during the cathedral choir’s vacation. As part of the team of organists, Benedict had the pleasure of accompanying them for many of the services.

    Durham Cathedral, Bristol - Organ
    Accompanying a psalm, Durham Cathedral

    A selection of recorded extracts from the week’s services are available on the Organist | Recordings page.

  • June 2013: Recitals
    30 June 2013

    The month of June 2013 seems to have been a month of organ recitals with two events in Bristol in the first fortnight and then a return visit to Blackburn Cathedral last Wednesday to play as part of their regular lunchtime recital series.

    The first of the Bristol concerts was a joint recital with two other local young organists (Timothy Selman & Makiko Hayasaka) in support of the Bristol & District Organists' Association and the Edgar Joyce Fund; a scheme designed to help and support the studies of young organists in the Bristol area. Both this recital and also that which followed at Christ Church (Bristol City) a fortnight later where met with great enthusiasm.

    Christ Church (City), Bristol - Organ
    The Organ at Christ Church (City), Bristol

    It was an absolute pleasure to be able to return to Blackburn for a lunchtime recital at the end of June. The programme, which featured music by Buxtehude, Sweelinck, Darke, Widor, Sain-Saëns & Duruflé, was a combination of happy memories of my time as Organ Scholar at the Cathedral 2011-12 interspersed with other works designed to tie the programme together and show of the many and varied colours & sounds of the fantastic cathedral organ. The programme was:

    • Praeludium in D Major BuxWV 139 Dietrich Buxtehude
    • Mein junges Leben hat ein End Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
    • Ciaconna in E minor BuxWV 160 Dietrich Buxtehude
    • Chorale-Prelude on a theme by Tallis Op 20 No 3 Harold Darke
    • Adagio from Symphonie 5 Op 42 No 1 Charles Marie Widor
    • ‘Feria Pentecostes’ from 7 Improvisations Op 150 No 2 Camille Saint-Saëns
    • Choral Varié sur la theme du ‘Veni Creator’ Op 4 Maurice Duruflé

    The recital was very enthusiastically recieved, not least by Dr John Bertalot who gave a wonderful vote of thanks at the end. Recordings of select pieces from this recital will be available on the Organist | Recordings page in the very near future.

  • Organ Recital: Blackburn Cathedral
    26 June 2013

    Lunchtime organ recital starting at 1:00pm. more

  • Organ Recital: Christchurch (City), Bristol
    5 June 2013

    Lunchtime organ recital featuring music by Buxtehude, Sweelinck & Saint Saëns. 1:10pm. more

  • Edgar Joyce Memorial Recital: St Paul's Church, Southmead, Bristol
    1 June 2013

    BDOA Edgar Joyce recital 2013

    Joint recital featuring music by Bach, Clarke, Duruflé, Thomas, Selman, Vaughan Williams, Whitlock & Wills. Admission £6.50, starting at 6pm. more

  • CMV Concert
    1 May 2013

    Recently completed composition, ‘Trio for Trumpet, Bassoon & Piano’, was performed in concert by members of the University of Bristol New Music Ensemble at the third of the Contemporary Music Venture series of concerts at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol. The concert was a great success and many favourable comments were received about the new Trio. My sincere thanks go to the performers: Manos Charalabopoulos (piano), Daisy Woods (bassoon) and Chloe Watson (trumpet). More details here

    UPDATE A recording of the first performance of this piece is now available - click on the link above.

  • CMV Concert
    20 March 2013

    Benedict’s new piece, ‘Duo for Two Violins’, which was commissioned by the University of Bristol Contemporary Music Venture (CMV) was performed in concert at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol on 20 March. More details here

  • Associate of the Royal College of Organists
    10 March 2013

    Benedict has recently gained the qualification of Associate of the Royal College of Organists (ARCO). This diploma demonstrates (quoting the RCO) ‘professional competencey’, rigorously testing the many and varied areas of knowledge and skills required of a professional organist. At the conferment ceremony, which took place in Southwark Cathedral on 9 March, Benedict was presented with his diploma by the President-elect of the College, Catherine Ennis.

    ARCO Conferment
    ARCO Diploma conferment ceremony

  • Organ Recital: The New Room, Broadmead, Bristol
    22 February 2013

    Lunchtime recital celebrating the music of Samuel Wesley, 1:20pm.

    This concert was reviewed by The Bristol Post: “... in [the] Fuga from Duet for Organ Philip [Burnett] was joined by Benedict Todd in a slick performance.”

    You can read the full review here

  • Another CMV commission!
    17 January 2013

    The Bristol University Contemporary Music Venture (CMV) have recently commissioned another new composition from Benedict. This new work, which will be scored for Piano, Trumpet and Bassoon, is due to be performed alongside several other new student pieces at a concert in the Victoria Rooms later in the year.

    UPDATE This composition is now complete. Details can be found here.

  • 2012

  • Rorate Cæli performed
    9 December 2012

    Recent composition ‘Rorate Cæli’ was performed for the first time by the University of Bristol Church Choir at their Advent Carol service. This took place this evening at St Paul's Church in Clifton, Bristol. Many favourable comments were made about the piece, particularly concerning the atmosphere it set at the start of this service and begining of this advent season.

    More details, including a recording made at the service, can be found on this page.

  • Composition comission
    29 November 2012

    Benedict has recieved a comission from the University of Bristol Contemporary Music Venture (CMV) to write a duo for two violins. This is due to be performed, alongside several other newly commisioned works, in a concert at the Victoria Rooms, Bristol in early Spring 2013. The piece will be a response to Béla Bartóks ‘44 Duos for Two Violins’ which will also be performed at the same concert.

    UPDATE This composition is now complete. Details can be found here.

  • AHRC Doctoral studentship
    6 September 2012

    Benedict has recently awarded a Studentship from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to study for a PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Bristol. Supervisied by Dr Michael Ellison, he is looking forward to starting work on this degree at the start of October.