Organ Recital - James Anderson-Besant

This Organ Recital will be given by James Anderson-Besant. James is the Herbert Howells Organ Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, where he is entering his final year studying music. In his role as organ scholar he accompanies the world-famous choir in its daily round of services under the direction of Andrew Nethsingha, and also assists in the training of the boy choristers. James has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and especially looks forward to playing for St John’s’ Advent carol service live on radio this year. His playing for the choir will feature in a number of upcoming CD releases, including discs of psalms, canticles, and a première recording of music by Michael Finnissy.

James also enjoys conducting, organising and directing a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio earlier this year, and he hopes to put on a St John Passion in 2020. He recently gave recitals at King’s, Queen’s and St John’s Colleges, and looks forward to upcoming engagements at St Albans and Stockholm Cathedrals as well as Trinity College, Cambridge. James won second prize at the 2019 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, and was also Organ Scholar for the Charles Wood Summer School and Festival in Armagh, giving him the opportunity to work under David Hill and Philip Scriven.

James was a music and academic scholar at Abingdon School, and in his final year was Organ Scholar of the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, Oxford. He spent his gap year as Organ Scholar of Gloucester Cathedral, where he accompanied services sung by all four cathedral choirs, helped train the choristers and assisted in a primary school singing outreach programme. James’ year at Gloucester was especially historic due to the addition of the first ever girl choristers in the cathedral’s history.

For seven years James learned the organ with James Brown, and he now studies with Stephen Farr. He would love to pursue a career in cathedral music if possible.


Allegro maestoso (Sonata in G)
Edward Elgar

Andante tranquillo (Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta)
Béla Bartók (arr. Anderson-Besant)

Prelude and Fugue in E minor “Wedge”, BWV 548
Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantabile & Final (from Symphony No. 6)
Charles-Marie Widor

Truro Cathedral has one of the finest organs in the country. Built by Father Willis specifically to fit the of the building, its range, depth and power are truly awe-inspiring.
The weekly Friday lunchtime series runs from March to October and each recital lasts around 50 minutes. These are completely free to attend - donations to support the cathedral's music are appreciated.