Born in York in 1986, Alexander Woodrow leads a freelance career as an organist, pianist, choral director and teacher, including positions at Solihull School and Warwick School, as Accompanist to Lichfield Cathedral Chorus, Organist to the Solihull Parish and as Musical Director of the Shifnal Chorale, Shropshire.
He moved to the West Midlands in 2016 to take up the position of Head of Choral Music at Solihull School. Prior to moving to Solihull, his career was as a cathedral musician, leading to almost five years as Organist and Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, where he was appointed at the age of 25. He was also responsible for running the Senior and Chamber Choirs at Bradford Grammar School. Initial positions were held as Organ Scholar at the Cathedrals of Guildford and St Albans, and then as Assistant Organist of Hexham Abbey, Northumberland.
Alexander read music as Organ Scholar at Magdalene College, Cambridge, studying with Anne Page. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 19, winning first prizes in all categories, including the Limpus Prize. He is also a Fellow of Trinity College London and a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. Solo organ recitals have taken Alexander to many of the major churches and cathedrals of the UK, including York Minster, King’s College and St John’s College, Cambridge and Westminster Abbey.
Peter Irving was educated at King’s School, Worcester and the University of East Anglia where he was Organ Scholar at Norwich Cathedral. After graduating in 1982 with the highest finals performance marks, he was appointed Second Assistant at Winchester Cathedral and during his time there was awarded the Turpin and the Durrant Prizes in the 1983 FRCO examinations.
After taking up the post of Organist and Choirmaster at Solihull School in 1984 he studied with Thomas Trotter and added to his previous achievements by becoming a prize-winner in the 1986 Llandudno Organ Competition as well as a semi-finalist in the 1987 RCO Performer of the Year. In May the following year he was awarded the John Brook Memorial Prize in the Royal College of Organists’ Choirmaster’s Diploma examination.
During his 26 years as Organist and Choirmaster at Solihull School, Peter directed the Chapel Choir in its first live BBC broadcast, produced three recordings with Priory and Regent Records and took the choir to sing at some of Britain’s major cathedrals, most notably Canterbury Cathedral. In addition to this, Peter coached the treble choristers in a number of operatic projects, including two rare performances of Britten’s Church Parables at Symphony Hall and the BBC Proms, as well as Puccini’s Tosca and Turandot at the Royal Albert Hall.
As a freelance organist Peter has toured the USA, performed live on BBC television and radio, at numerous cathedrals across the UK and in premiers of works by Ben Parry, Jonathan Dove and David Briggs. Recent performances have been at Symphony Hall with the CBSO, St. George’s Chapel Windsor, Gloucester, St. Albans and St. Paul’s Cathedrals. Having retired from teaching in 2017, Peter currently holds the position of Organist at Solihull School Chapel.