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  Richard Pantcheff

Choral and organ works - The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford


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The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Christ Church Cathedral Choir was founded just under five hundred years ago, and continues to perform daily services throughout the year in the Cathedral.  The boy choristers attend Christ Church Cathedral School, attached to Christ Church, and about half the gentlemen of the choir are undergraduates at Oxford University.

The choir is now world-famous, touring regularly.  In the last couple of years, the choir has toured Japan, the USA (the Midwest, and Washington DC) and also performed to great acclaim in Freiberg and Antwerp. The choir also performs concerts throughout the year around Britain - last year’s schedule included St John’s Smith Square, the Spitalfields Festival, the Nimbus Concert Hall, Sion House, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Aldeburgh Britten Festival commemorating the 25th Annniversary of the death of Benjamin Britten.  The Choir also undertakes a prodigious broadcasting and recording schedule, including the recording and release of more than 10 CDs in the last two years.  The choir regularly features on TV, in series such as Channel 4’s ‘Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs’, and continues regular radio broadcasting of Choral Evensong and other key concerts and services.



Stephen Darlington has been Director of Music at Christ Church since 1985.  His career began at Christ Church as a student under Simon Preston from 1971-4.  After being Assistant Organist at Canterbury Cathedral for four years, he became Master of The Music at St Alban’s Abbey at just 25 and subsequently Artistic Director of the world-famous Organ Festival. 

Stephen is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor.  He has conducted and lectured in many parts of New Zealand and Australia and has recently completed a two-year post as President of the Royal College of Organists.  In June 2001, Stephen was awarded the Lambeth Doctorate for outstanding services to music over the last 30 years.



Clive Driskill-Smith was educated at Eton College as a music scholar.  He served as organ scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College before going up to Christ Church, Oxford, as organ scholar.  In 1999 he graduated from Oxford with First Class Honours in music, and in 2001 gained the MPhil in interpretation and performance.

A multiple prize-winner, Clive gives recitals worldwide, broadcasts live on radio and television, and records as both soloist and accompanist.  In 2000 he was awarded first prize in the Royal College of Organists’ international ‘Performer of the Year’ Competition, and in 2001 took second prize and the audience prize at the St Alban’s international organ competition.  In 2001 he was appointed as Assistant Organist at Christ Church.


    Richard Pantcheff commenced his musical life as a Chorister at Ripon Cathedral, becoming Head Chorister at the time of the Cathedral’s 1300th anniversary celebrations.  He later studied Music at Christ Church, Oxford, under Simon Preston and Francis Grier.  In recent years, he has established himself as one of the UK’s leading composers of Choral and Organ music, with a succession of commissions and performances of his work in major English and Scottish cathedrals, colleges, and schools, as well as in many churches in Germany and the USA.  A substantial proportion of his output is published, distributed, and performed around the world.

The works featured on this CD were written in three places which have proved to be particularly conducive to musical composition: Whitchurch, Hampshire (where the composer was Director of Music at All Hallows’ Church from 1989-1993); Frankfurt am Main, Germany (where he was Assistant Organist at the Episcopal Church, from 1993-5); and Oxford, where he now devotes his time to freelance composition.


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