Joseph Wicks is an organist, conductor and tenor based in Cornwall. He is Assistant Director of Music at Truro Cathedral, a post that he took up in September 2017. In addition he is also Musical Director of the cathedral’s voluntary choir, St Mary’s Singers, sings tenor in The Gesualdo Six, and founded chamber choir The Beaufort Singers and its Boxgrove Choral Festival.
Joseph’s duties at Truro include assisting the Director of Music, Christopher Gray, in the training of the boy and girl choristers, conducting services and mentoring of the choral and organ scholars, as well as playing the world-famous Father Willis organ for the majority of daily sung services. During his first year there, Joseph recorded a CD of music by Dobrinka Tabakova with the cathedral choir including a substantial organ solo, and accompanied the choir on three broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 including a live concert broadcast of Duruflé’s Requiem.
Prior to this Joseph was Assistant Organist of St John’s College, Cambridge, having been its Herbert Howells Organ Scholar. While at St John’s, Joseph played the organ for a large proportion of the daily services sung by the world-famous Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge and also accompanied them on their busy broadcast, recording and international tours to Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, The Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the USA. The Choir’s own label as an imprint of Signum Classics includes Joseph’s CD releases as accompanist to the choir including works by Kodaly and Vaughan Williams. A further release will appear in the autumn, featuring various performances taken from Advent Carol Service recordings originally broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Joseph also conducted the College Choir on occasion, and for his final two years was Musical Director of the Gentlemen of St John’s with whom he recorded a CD of Christmas music entitled ‘White Christmas’.
Joseph began his musical education as a Chorister, later Bishop’s (Head) Chorister, of Salisbury Cathedral, singing with them for six years where he first enjoyed the daily round of evensong and the rich repertoire of an English Cathedral Choir. He moved on to Lancing College as a Walter Stanton Music Scholar, and was later awarded their Sixth Form Organ Scholarship. He then spent a gap year as Organ Scholar of Hereford Cathedral before moving to St John’s in 2013.
Joseph’s first organ teacher was Andrew Post at Salisbury Cathedral School. He continued to learn with Neil Cox, Stephen Farr, Daniel Cook, and studied with Gordon Stewart in Cambridge. Joseph is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) winning the Limpus, Shinn and Durrant prize for the highest mark in the practical examination. Joseph has given recitals in Westminster Abbey and King’s College Cambridge, as well as several other Cambridge colleges, municipal halls, and several cathedrals and churches across the UK.
Joseph is passionate about new music, and has given world premiere performances of organ pieces by Louis Andriessen, Neil Cox, Tarik O’Regan, Sven-David Sandström and Tim Watts. He has also conducted world premiere performances of music by Owain Park and Piers Kennedy with The Beaufort Singers.
As a conductor, Joseph has given performances of Bach Magnificat & St John Passion, James MacMillan Seven Last Words From The Cross, Poulenc Mass in G and Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil. He directs the annual Boxgrove Choral Festival which takes places in late summer at Boxgrove Priory, West Sussex. The inaugural Festival attracted Classic FM’s social media arm who filmed The Beaufort Singers singing modern works by Owain Park and Neil Cox.
In addition, Joseph maintains a freelance career as a singer. He is a graduate of Genesis Sixteen, a training scheme for young singers run by The Sixteen and its director Harry Christophers. Joseph has sung with groups such as Alamire and Polyphony, and is a founding member of The Gesualdo Six, a vocal ensemble who specialize in renaissance polyphony and modern works who recently toured Canada. Having performed several times on BBC Radio 3 and given concerts across the Europe, the group released their debut CD ‘English Motets’ was released on Hyperion Records to international acclaim. Two further CDs will be recorded in 2019.