October 8, 2010
Richard Webster is a choral conductor, composer, church musician and organist of wide renown. He is in demand for newly commissioned anthems, organ and instrumental works, liturgical music and hymn tunes, and travels extensively to direct hymn festivals, choral workshops and perform organ recitals. His hymn arrangements for brass, percussion, organ and congregation are performed in churches and concert halls throughout the English-speaking world. The Canadian Broadcasting Company perennially features these hymns on their Easter and Christmas broadcasts. His settings have also been televised on BBC’s “Songs of Praise,” the most widely viewed religious music program in the world.
He has written articles on church music for The American Organist, The Diapason, Chicago Tribune, The Living Church and the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and is a contributing author to Leading the Church’s Song, published by Augsburg.
Currently the Director of Music and Organist at Boston’s historic Trinity Church on Copley Square, he co-founded the Trinity Choristers, who, with the Trinity Schola, made their first tour to England in August 2010, with residencies at Ely and Chichester Cathedrals. Richard is Music Director of Chicago’s Bach Week Festival, an annual concert series performed by some of the Midwest’s most celebrated musicians, now in its 36th season. Much sought after as a choral clinician, Mr. Webster has led RSCM Training Courses for boy and girl choristers in the U.S. and South Africa. He is a past President of the Association of Anglican Musicians.
As an organist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he has performed and recorded with them in works from the Saint Saens Organ Symphony to Ives’ Fourth Symphony. Richard is the Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of the Parish Church of Saint Luke in Evanston, Illinois, where, from 1974 to 2003 he directed the Choir of Men and Boys, the Girls Choir, Adult Schola and the St. Luke’s Singers in a program widely respected and emulated in the field of church music. The 1998 restoration of the celebrated 1922 Ernest M. Skinner organ at St. Luke’s was accomplished under his leadership and is dedicated in thanksgiving for his ministry. A native of Nashville, Mr. Webster studied organ with Peter Fyfe, Karel Paukert and Wolfgang Rübsam. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Great Britain, studying the English choral tradition as Organ Scholar at Chichester Cathedral under John Birch.
As a diversion, Richard loves running, and has completed 19 marathons, including the Boston Marathon seven times.