David Bednall is recognized as one of the leading choral composers of his generation. He studied for a PhD in Composition with Professor John Pickard at the University of Bristol. He is Organist of the University of Bristol and Sub Organist at Bristol Cathedral; he also conducts the University Singers. He studied with Dr. Naji Hakim and David Briggs and between 2002 and 2007 was at Wells Cathedral, initially as Sub Organist and then as Assistant Organist. As well as the daily services he accompanied the choirs for concerts and on radio and television broadcasts. He also made a number of recordings with the Cathedral Choir and Chamber Choir on the Hyperion, Regent, Lammas and Priory labels.
Bednall studied in Sherborne and then at The Queen’s College, Oxford where he was Organ Scholar. In 2000 the Chapel Choir toured Paris under his direction, singing at Notre Dame and other venues. In 2000 he was appointed Organ Scholar at Gloucester Cathedral under David Briggs and Ian Ball. While there he spent periods as Acting Director of Music and Acting Assistant Organist, was closely involved in the Three Choirs Festival, and was involved in two recordings: as Director on the recording Lux Aeterna with the Cathedral Choir, and as accompanist on the critically acclaimed recording Comfort and Joy with the Saint Cecilia Singers.
He was a prize-winner in Improvisation and Performance at the examination for Fellow of The Royal College of Organists in 2002, and has given recitals at L’Église de La Trinité, Paris, Westminster, St Paul’s, and many other cathedrals. Additional engagements have included recitals at Westminster Abbey, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and various performances of Vierne’s Symphonies IV and V. In June 2008 he gave a recital at Notre-Dame de Paris. He has performed all the major works of Olivier Messiaen as part of the Liturgical Year, including the cycles Méditations sur le mystère de la Sainte Trinité and Livre du Saint Sacrament. His debut solo recording for Lammas of Hakim, Messiaen and Vierne at Blackburn Cathedral, and a CD of liturgical improvisations with Malcolm Archer, have both received excellent critical reviews. Other activities have included performances of the music of James Macmillan in the Bath Festival with the Bath Festival Chorus conducted by the composer, acting as organist for the Exons Singers and performing in the Jean Langlais Centenary Festival in Brittany.
Recent work has included Missa Sancti Pauli commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral, a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis premiered on Radio 3 by Wells Cathedral Choir, and commissions by Opus Anglicanum and the Jean Langlais Festival. In November 2008 his Requiem was premiered in St James’s Church, Spanish Place with St Mary’s School, Calne and was recently given its first performance in the United States at St Mary The Virgin, Times Square in New York. His largest work to date, Welcome All Wonders – A Christmas Cantata, commissioned by The Queen’s College, Oxford, was premiered in November 2011 and recorded on Signum. His Stabat Mater for upper voices, violin and organ was recently premiered in New York by Benenden Chapel Choir and was recorded in 2015. He recently appeared as a guest on Radio 3’s The Choir with Aled Jones for a programme on organist-composers. He has also appeared as stunt-organist on the BBC TV series Dr Who.