George Chittenden, Director of Music and Cathedral Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, Dunedin for the last five years, is to depart his post on Sunday, 31st July, having been appointed to the prestigious position of Organist at Sankta Maria Kyrka (St Mary’s Church), Helsingborg, Sweden. This historic medieval church, which included Bach’s illustrious teacher, Diderik Buxtehude, amongst its former organists, appoints George following the retiral of Mats Hultkvist, who held the post for thirty-four years.

‘Mariakyrkan’, as it is colloqually known in Helsingborg, is a basilica-sized church built in the Danish Gothic style and dating from the 14th Century; its foundations pre-date this by a further two-hundred years. The church is home to an impressive wealth of musical resources: with nine choirs in the parish and three-and-a-half organs in the church itself, George’s leadership of the organ music, choral works and concerts at St Mary’s Church forms part of a substantial team, comprised of six full-time musicians who are committed to excellence in all forms of musical expression, ranging from the high-classical through to gospel and contemporary styles.

George’s choral-directing responsibilities will be primarily for the leadership of the auditioned choirs Kyrkokör (Church Choir), who undertake regular international tours, and Oratoriekör (Oratorio Choir), the latter of whom collaborate regularly with the region’s symphony orchestras.

 

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