NEIL WRIGHT STUDIED ORGAN, PIANO, HARPSICHORD AND CLAVICHORD AT THE ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC WITH DAME GILLIAN WEIR, ERIC CHADWICK . HE GRADUATED WITH THE RNCM PRIZE FOR PLAYING BACH. IN 1976 HE CAME TO PUBLIC ATTENTION WHEN HE WAS FEATURED ON BBC TELEVISION PLAYING THE CAVAILLÉ-COLL/LEWIS ORGAN OF MANCHESTER TOWN HALL. IN 1979 HE BECAME A FELLOW OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ORGANISTS, WINNING THE DIXON PRIZE FOR EXTEMPORISATION.
Shortly after graduating Neil moved to the United States, where he worked as an organist, singer and choral director, founding Lauda, an ensemble devoted to the performance of early choral music.
He later undertook further study in improvisation and composition with Naji Hakim. He also attended improvisation classes with Peter Planyavsky, Bert Matter, Guy Bovet and Loïc Mallié, twice winning prizes in the prestigious International Organ Improvisation Competitions in Haarlem, Netherlands, and also in the Pachelbel Prize competition, Nuremberg. After several years as Assistant Organist of the Brompton Oratory he was appointed Organist of the recently restored Cavaillé-Coll organ at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire. Neil’s recordings of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Farnborough Abbey include Le Tombeau d’Eugénie – works by Franck, Guilmant and Berlioz, L’Organiste – the complete suites for organ by César Franck, Trois Pièces also by Franck, and Quatre Pièces Opus 37 by Joseph Jongen. Among his compositions for organ are Choral first performed at the Brompton Oratory, London in 2001 and A Dreame and Fugue Angelicall, composed and first performed in Bayonne, France in 1999, recorded by Martin Stacey on the organ of St John’s, Islington, on Triduum (Priory Records). Other works include a mass, songs, and motets, including music for the liturgy of Holy Week. A compilation of selected French classic is currently in production.
Video recordings of improvisations at Farnborough Abbey, and of improvisations during the summer art Festival 2014 on the splendid St Martin organ in St Michael’s, Bedford Park, London, are on Youtube – Sonnette Music Channel.
Engagements for 2017 include Dresden Cathedral, Carmel Valley California, Queen’s College Oxford, Lille, and Farnborough Abbey. Recent appearances have include Westminster Central Hall, Arundel Cathedral, Tagliacozzo Festival Italy, Stuttgart-Schondorf Orgelnacht, Åland Orgel Festival Finland, Friedenskirche Potsdam, Cremona Cathedral, Ealing Abbey, Maria Laach Abbey Germany, Vannes Cathedral, Eglise de la Trinité Paris. He was particularly honoured to participate in Les Rencontres Marcel Dupré Festival in Paris.
Neil teaches organ, improvisation, and piano, and composes for the choir of Holy Redeemer, Chelsea. He has recently been commissioned to compose a choral work for the Bevan Family Consort which they performed in their concert as part of the Cadogan Hall 2016 series.