CV / Biog

George Chittenden

Biography

 

George Chittenden is Organist at Sankta Maria kyrka (St Mary's Church), Helsingborg, Sweden. This historic medieval church, which included Bach's illustrious teacher, Diderik Buxtehude, amongst its former organists, is a basilica-sized church built in the Danish Gothic style, dating from the 14th Century; its foundations pre-date this by a further two-hundred years.

 

The church is home to an impressive wealth of musical resources: with ten choirs in the parish and three-and-a-half organs in the church itself, George’s leadership of the organ music, choral works and concerts at St Mary’s Church forms part of a substantial team, comprised of six full-time musicians who are committed to excellence in all forms of musical expression, ranging from the high-classical through to gospel and contemporary styles. George is choral director to the auditioned choirs Kyrkokör (Church Choir), who undertake regular international tours, and Oratoriekör (Oratorio Choir), the latter of whom collaborate regularly with the region’s symphony orchestras.

 

Prior to returning to Europe, George was Director of Music and Cathedral Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin, New Zealand, alongside which he was the Fleming Galway Organ Fellow to Knox College at the University of Otago, and Music Director of the Southern Youth Choir. Furthermore, George's roles in New Zealand comprised the positions of Otago and Southland Councillor for both RSCM New Zealand and ANZCO. George is both an Associate of the Royal College of Organists and an international concert organist., with a very active international recital career.

 

Before moving to New Zealand, George was employed as Artist-in-Residence/Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford in the USA, and Organist to the Anglican Singers. Prior to moving to the New England, George held the post of Assistant Organist to the Cathedral Church of St Andrew in Aberdeen, Scotland, alongside positions at the the University of Aberdeen. At the university, George accompanied the majority of services during his time as David Gordon Memorial Senior Organ Scholar, and featured numerous times on BBC broadcasts, both local and international.

 

George is currently pursuing part-time doctoral studies, concentrating on the way in which the Nazi occupation in Scandinavia impacted upon developments within classical composition. He is furthermore active as a composer of both sacred music and avant-garde works.

 

Notably, George has been taught by David Flood, Anne Marsden-Thomas, Gerard Brooks, Roger Williams, and, most recently, Peter Stoltzfus Berton. He has also participated in numerous masterclasses focusing on baroque repertoire, including those run by Nigel Allcoat, Francis Jacob and Ewald Kooimann.

 

Away from a hectic musical schedule, George is a committed football fan, supporting Celtic FC in the United Kingdom, Malmö FF in Sweden, and above all, his much revered Swedish national team. George is a keen traveller, a historian, a social poker player and a fan of good wheat beers.

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