Director of Music
Dr Simon Lindley has been Director of Music for St Peter’s Singers ever since Harry Fearnley appointed him when the choir was founded in 1977.
Under his leadership, the choir has grown into one of Yorkshire’s leading choirs, with a reputation for deep and instinctively musical responses to the text. He has also and an enviable track record in innovative programming and promotion of a wide repertoire of choral music.
In 2001, Dr Lindley received an honorary doctorate from Leeds Metropolitan University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the musical and civic life of Leeds.
In 2010 the University of Huddersfield conferred an honorary doctorate in recognition of his services to choral music, locally, nationally and internationally.
Dr Lindley was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. As a student in London, he directed many choirs in the City of London, and retains strong links there to this day. Following his graduation he became the late Dr Peter Hurford’s assistant at St Alban’s Cathedral. He remained active as a highly sought-after organist, and gave a well-received performance of the Elgar Organ Sonata at the Proms.
In 1975 he moved to Leeds to succeed his distinguished predecessor Dr Donald Hunt OBE as Organist and Master of the Music at the City’s Parish Church [St Peter-at-Leeds], now Leeds Minster. The year following, Leeds City Council appointed him fourth City Organist, also in succession to Dr Hunt. After 41 years service in each capacity, Dr Lindley was in 2016 named as Leeds Minster Organist Emeritus. In Summer 2017 a similar nomination from Leeds City Council announced that he was to be City Organist Emeritus with immediate effect, following the appointment of Darius Battiwalla as City Organist and Curator of the Lunchtime Organ Concert series at Leeds Town Hall.
Work for national institutions
Simon is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal College of Organists [he was the College’s President from 2000 to 2003] and of Trinity College of Music. He was President of the Incorporated Association of Organists from 2003 to 2005. Simon holds honorary Fellowships from Leeds College of Music, the Guild of Church Musicians, the Guild of Musicians and Singers, and the Royal School of Church Music.
He is a frequent and welcome guest director of choir courses – particularly those in the United States arranged by the RSCM – and his small-scale liturgical compositions and carol arrangements are performed throughout the English-speaking world. His setting of Ave Maria, now available for SATB choir as well as in the upper-voice original, is in the choral repertoire of countless choirs in parish churches, chapels, schools and cathedrals. Katherine Jenkins is just one of many artists to have recorded it, most recently by in her Sacred Arias anthology. Simon has more arrangements of Easter Carols currently in print than any other composer.
St Peter’s Singers is not Dr Lindley’s only position. He has been Conductor of Sheffield Bach Choir since 2009, and of Doncaster Choral Society since 2010. He is also the long-serving Music Director of Overgate Hospice Choir, and worked until recently with Leeds College of Music Community Choral Society. Dr Lindley has previously served as Chorus Master for Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and Halifax Choral Society and is a life Vice-President of each choir.
You can read posts by Dr Lindley and others in our blog.