Durham Cathedral Music

The Organists, past and present

Armes centenary


Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook has been Master of the Choristers and Organist of Durham Cathedral since September 2017. In addition, he maintains a busy schedule of recitals, concerts and recordings, as well as being in demand as a conductor, teacher and singer.

Previously Daniel spent four years as Sub-Organist of Westminster Abbey where he was the principal organist to the Abbey Choir and Assistant Director of Music to James O'Donnell. He accompanied the Abbey Choir for all major services, performed with them in concerts and on tours in Europe and the USA, as well as appearing in their famous series of recordings for Hyperion Records.

Prior to this, Daniel was Organist and Master of the Choristers of St Davids Cathedral and Artistic Director of the St Davids Cathedral Festival. Under his direction the Cathedral Choir made several broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio and Television, toured in Italy and performed with the BBC singers in the City of London Festival. Before moving to St Davids, Daniel spent six years as Assistant Director of Music of Salisbury Cathedral where he was the principal organist. He has worked widely as a choral conductor and has been Music Director of the Dyfed Choir, the Farrant Singers, St Davids Cathedral Festival Chorus and the Grange Choral Society and Orchestra.

Daniel received his early musical education at Durham Cathedral with Keith Wright. Following a year as Organ Scholar at Worcester Cathedral, he moved to London to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Nicolas Kynaston, James O'Donnell and Patrick Russill. While at the Academy, he worked as Organ Scholar at Southwark Cathedral and Westminster Abbey before graduating with first-class honours in July, 2003. He was subsequently Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey from 2003 until 2005.

Daniel has twice been a finalist in the St Albans International Organ Competition. As a recitalist, he has played across the UK, Europe and Australia. He has made several solo organ recordings for Priory Records and is one of their most recorded organists. Other projects have included a performance of the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in six recitals to celebrate the centenary of the composer’s birth, and CD recordings of the complete organ music of Charles Stanford, Herbert Brewer, Herbert Sumsion, George Dyson, Walter Alcock and William Harris. A solo DVD from Westminster Abbey was released in 2018.

In 2013 Daniel was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM), an award offered to past students of the Academy who have distinguished themselves in the music profession and made a significant contribution to it in their particular field. For more information visit: www.danielcookorganist.com

For a longer version visit: www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/master-of-the-choristers-and-organist

Forthcoming appearances:


Joseph Beech


Joseph Beech is the Sub-Organist at Durham Cathedral, a position he took up in September 2019. As Sub-Organist, Joseph is the principal accompanist to the Cathedral Choir, playing the organ for daily services in addition to the choir’s schedule of broadcasts, concerts, recordings and tours. He also assists the Master of the Choristers in his work conducting the choir, and recruiting and training the choristers.

Prior to his appointment at Durham, Joseph was Assistant Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, where he accompanied the Cathedral Choir in its round of daily services, on a Delphian recording of the choral works of Kenneth Leighton (awarded 5
by BBC Music Magazine), and on a number of continental tours. He also conducted the choir live on BBC Radio 3.

Born in Nottingham, Joseph held the Organ Scholarship at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. As a prizewinning student of David Titterington, Joseph performed in London’s major venues and worked under conductors Marin Alsop, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Trevor Pinnock. Concurrent with his Academy studies, Joseph successively held organ scholarships at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace; the London Oratory; and St Paul’s Cathedral. He graduated with a first-class degree in 2017, also being presented one of the Academy’s coveted Regency Awards for ‘notable achievement’; he also holds the Academy’s Licenciateship diploma.

Aside from his work at the Cathedral, Joseph maintains an active performance schedule, and enjoys dedicating time to his work as an organ teacher at the University of Durham.

Forthcoming appearances:


  Organ Scholars:
[commencing Sept.2021]


Previous Organists

The Cathedral Website

includes the diary of events and service music list.

The Chorister School

The Cathedral Choir

A History of Durham Choristers

Durham Cathedral Choir Association

* Shortcuts to *
A brief history of the Cathedral's organs
Father Smith gallery
The organ stoplist today
Forthcoming recital details

Maintained by Richard Hird [www.duresme.org.uk]
Last updated July 2021