Organist John Keys, MA LRAM ARCM ARCO Hon. FGCM, was born and educated in Chester. On completion of his schooling, he was assistant organist at Chester Cathedral for 3 years, before becoming an organ scholar at New College, Oxford. There he was taught by Gillian Weir and Nicholas Danby.
After graduating, he studied for 3 years at Geneva Conservatoire with Lionel Rogg, and won the 1er Prix de Virtuosité and the Prix Barblan. He was also Organist of Eglise St Jean and then Holy Trinity Church.
Having been appointed Director of Music at St Mary's Church, Nottingham, in 1984, in the same year John won First Prize at the 4th Manchester International Organ Competition. As well as having created a flourishing musical tradition at St Mary's, he is the University Organist at the University of Nottingham, and plays the organ extensively in Britain and abroad, primarily as a solo recitalist, but also as an accompanist and continuo player.
John also teaches the organ, up to the highest levels, and acted as tutor for an Oundle / RCO “Get Ahead” day in Nottingham.
John was the President of the Nottingham & District Society of Organists from July 2005 to July 2007.
In association with the best-selling popular science writer Brian Clegg, John has produced numerous CDs containing hundreds of tracks of music for all church occasions, including organ accompaniments for hymns, voluntaries and Mass settings, as well as piano Worship Song accompaniments. These have received critical acclaim, and are all available from the Hymn CDs website.
In July/August 2006, John was a tutor at the Organ Summer School at St Andrews University and in August 2006 and 2007 he was asked to take part in the final concert of the Gothenburg International Organ Academy.
In 2009, John was nominated as an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians.
John is one of the trustees for the Binns organ in the Albert Hall, Nottingham, and in April 2012 he was nominated as Vice Chair of the committee. Video clips of him playing can be found on YouTube.
In 2014 an extract of John Keys' recording of "Abide with me" was used in a BBC Radio Berkshire programme on "How the Church responded to War", as part of the BBC "World War One at Home" series.
John Keys was appointed as City organist at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham in May 2016.
Photo: John Keys at the Binns Organ, Albert Hall, Nottingham
No cuts or alterations of any kind should be made to this biography without the consent of John Keys.
John Keys events
17 March 2018: Concert – St Peter's Church, Edensor, UK
With the Derbyshire Singers
26 April 2018: Concert – St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, UK
1 June 2018: Concert – King Charles the Martyr, Falmouth, UK
7 June 2018: Concert – Halifax Minster, UK
5 September 2018: Concert – St Luke's, Sevenoaks, UK
17 October 2018: Concert – Norwich Cathedral, UK
18 October 2018: Concert – St Pancras Church, London, UK