St John’s has recently employed two new musicians to take our musical tradition forward, and maintain and develop our reputation as a place of high-quality music-making.
Richard Sutton will be taking up the role of Director of Music in November. Richard (born in 1969) read English at Durham University, studying organ with Ian Shaw at Durham Cathedral and holding scholarships at St Chad’s College and St Oswald’s Church. While completing postgraduate work in Education at Liverpool University, he was appointed Organ Scholar of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, and continued organ and choral studies with Terence Duffy and Ian Tracey. Following four years as Conductor of Port Sunlight Choral Society – performing a wide choral repertoire including works by J. S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Vivaldi, Fauré, Duruflé, Britten and Vaughan Williams – he moved south to his first Head of English position at Hurstpierpoint College in West Sussex, and continued organ lessons with Stephen Farr at Winchester Cathedral, subsequently moving to London in 2000. He served as Head of English at Dulwich College for a decade, and is presently in post as Director of Higher Education. Richard continues to pursue a freelance career in music, recently performing in the Summer recital series at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York City.
Joe Matthews has already taken up the position of Assistant Director of Music. Joe began studying the organ with Arnfinn Tobiassen in 2009 whilst at the John Fisher School in Purley. Following Arnfinn, he was taught by Ryan Leonard for five years who, during this time, guided him through numerous recitals, grades, church services and other performances. This includes Joe’s recital at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2017, after winning the Croydon Music Festival, and performances at Fairfield Halls, the Royal Festival Hall and many churches.
From September 2014 to August 2016 Joe was in formal musical training as an organ scholar at St Michael and All Angels Church, West Croydon. Having learnt a great deal there, he continued to play at various churches in London and Manchester during his degree. Joe has just finished his undergraduate studies at Manchester University, gaining a First Class degree, and has now begun a postgraduate degree in trumpet performance at the Royal Academy of Music.
He enjoys a variety of music, but favourites come from the late Romantic repertoire, particularly German and Russian music such as that of Wagner and Shostakovich. In future, Joe wishes to become a professional trumpet player, and is looking forward to living in London again and continuing to make music both on the organ and the trumpet.
We are very happy to welcome Richard and Joe to St John’s, and look forward to making music with them!