John Keys (organist)

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John Keys, MA LRAM ARCM ARCO Hon. FGCM, (born 3 December 1956) is a British organist.


John Keys was brought up and educated in Chester. On completion of his schooling, he was assistant organist at Chester Cathedral for 3 years, before becoming an organ scholar at New College, Oxford. There he was taught by Gillian Weir and Nicholas Danby. After graduating, he studied for 3 years at Geneva Conservatoire with Lionel Rogg, and won the 1er Prix de Virtuosité and the Prix Barblan. He was also Organist of the Eglise St Jean and then Holy Trinity Church.

Having been appointed Director of Music at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham, in 1984, in the same year he won First Prize at the 4th Manchester International Organ Competition. He is also Nottingham University organist.

John gives many recitals every year in Britain and abroad, and has played in France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Gibraltar, Malta, the Ukraine, Switzerland, the USA and Australia.[1] He has appeared as organist, accompanist, continuo player and conductor on Radio Suisse Romande, Télévision de La Suisse Romande, Netherlands Radio, Radio France and for the BBC. He gives many solo organ recitals each year, and also works as an accompanist and continuo player, as well as teaching the organ.

John Keys has recorded one of the world’s largest collections of organ hymn accompaniments.[2] In 2014, he completed recordings of all 941 tracks in the new "Ancient & Modern" hymn book. [3] Also in 2014 an extract of his recording of "Abide with me" was used in a BBC Radio Berkshire programme on "How the Church responded to War", as part of the BBC "World War One at Home" series. In 2015 some of his recordings were used in a short service at the end of a trip down the Thames by the ship Havengore, as part of the 50th anniversary commemorations of the death of Winston Churchill. [4]

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians.

In 2012 he was nominated as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Binns organ in the Albert Hall, Nottingham.[5]

He is represented by Ellison & Strømsholm International Artists' Management. [6]


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