NEIL WRIGHT STUDIED ORGAN, PIANO, HARPSICHORD AND CLAVICHORD AT THE ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC WITH DAME GILLIAN WEIR, ERIC CHADWICK AND ROBERT ELLIOTT. HE WAS AWARDED THE RNCM PRIZE FOR PLAYING BACH. IN 1976 HE CAME TO PUBLIC ATTENTION WHEN HE WAS FEATURED ON BBC TELEVISION PLAYING THE ORGAN OF MANCHESTER TOWN HALL. IN 1979 HE BECAME A FELLOW OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ORGANISTS, WINNING THE DIXON PRIZE FOR EXTEMPORISATION.
On his return to England from the United States, where he had worked both as an organist and singer, he settled in Canterbury becoming a lay clerk in the Cathedral Choir. During this time he 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. Among his compositions for organ are Idyll: a country far beyond the stars first performed at the Brompton Oratory, London in 2001 and A Dreame and Fugue Angelicall, first performed in Bayonne, France in 1999. Other works include a Mass, Songs, and latin motets including music for the liturgy of Holy Week.
In 1994 he was appointed Assistant Organist of the Brompton Oratory, and in 1996, 1998 and 2000 he won finalist prizes at the prestigious International Organ Improvisation Competitions in Nuremberg and Haarlem, Netherlands.
He has given concerts in Europe and the United States not only as an organist but as pianist, harpsichordist and countertenor. In 2003 he directed the Orchestra of the Nord Ostsee Barockmusic Festival, Germany and in 2004 joined the City of London Chamber Players as harpsichordist. In 2001 Neil was appointed Organist of the recently restored Cavaillé-Coll organ at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire.
Of his CD recording of works by Franck, Berlioz and Guilmant Le Tombeau d¹Eugénie (PRCD802), Organist’s Review wrote of Neil’s playing “…heart rending …a most important contribution to our understanding of the way the music should sound” and “breathtaking…virtuosic playing” The Nordfriesland Landblatt.