Andrew Lumsden

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Andrew Lumsden

Organ • Conductor

• Born 1962

Biography

As conductor of England's Winchester Cathedral Choir, Andrew Lumsden has burnished the sound and the reputation of that nearly thousand-year-old ensemble. He is also a noted organist and has conducted several other important English choirs.

Lumsden was born in 1962; his father was the educator, choral director, and organist Sir David Lumsden. He attended secondary school at Winchester College, moving on to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and then St. John's College, Cambridge, as an organ scholar. There, he assisted in training the college choir. He studied choral conducting and organ throughout, and his first post was as assistant organist at Southwark Cathedral in London, beginning in 1985. In 1988, he became sub-organist at Westminster Abbey, a high-profile position that saw him perform at important national commemorative events such as the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and a memorial service for Sir Laurence Olivier. Lumsden's organ playing was also frequently heard on the BBC, and he has been unusually visible among choral conductors in British mass media; not only has he conducted televised performances, he was also featured in the television series Great British Railway Journeys, discussing Winchester Cathedral and its famous organ. Lumsden was named organist and master of the choristers at Lichfield in 1992. He took the choir on tour to France, Germany, Italy, and the U.S., and he recorded five CDs with the group. He still found time to continue his solo organ career, appearing with, among other groups, the London Symphony Orchestra.

Lumsden became conductor and director of music at Winchester Cathedral, a major position in the English choral and organ worlds, in 2002. He presided over a growing music program at the cathedral that had just begun to encompass a girls' choir in the previously all-male preserve of cathedral choral singing, and he extended the cathedral choir's already vigorous recording program. Lumsden has continued to perform on the organ, and he also serves as director of the large southern English choir the Waynflete Singers. Lumsden has led the Winchester Cathedral Choir in a number of recordings for the Hyperion and Regent labels, including A Year at Winchester (2012) on the latter. In 2019, he conducted the choir in a Hyperion album of music by John Tavener. Outside music, he enjoys wine, cricket, and flying planes.

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