Andrew Millington

Andrew Millington

Andrew Millington is one of England’s most senior and experienced Cathedral musicians, currently Director of Music at Exeter Cathedral.

His passion for church music was ignited as a chorister at the Priory Church of Great Malvern, in the heart of Elgar country. He proceeded to the King’s School, Worcester where he came under the remarkable influences of the Cathedral Organist Christopher Robinson, and his assistant, Harry Bramma. Whilst at school he became accompanist to the City of Birmingham Choir, and gained valuable experience in service playing at Worcester.

During his time as a Cambridge Organ Scholar he gained the FRCO diploma and graduated in music. His teachers included David Willcocks, George Guest and John Rutter (composition).

In 1975 he was appointed Assistant Organist of Gloucester Cathedral under John Sanders, together with a teaching post at the King’s School. For the next seven years he developed a varied career as organist, teacher and conductor, directing no fewer than four choirs in the Midlands area. His experience at the Three Choirs’ Festival included the responsibility of organ accompaniment at the Gloucester Festivals of 1977 and 1980, working with major orchestras and involvement in many new commissions.

In 1983 Andrew Millington became the third person to hold the post of Organist of Guildford Cathedral, following in the footsteps of Barry Rose and Philip Moore. Over a period of 16 years he directed the famous choir of men and boys in daily services; his work with the choir also included numerous recordings, broadcasts, tours to European countries and North America, and an appearance at the BBC Promenade Concerts with the choristers and BBC Singers. In addition to his Cathedral duties, he was closely involved with the Guildford International Music Festival, and held posts as Diocesan Organ Advisor and Chairman of the RSCM Guildford Area.

In 1999 he moved to his present post at Exeter Cathedral, where he has overall responsibility for all aspects of the Cathedral’s music. Under his direction the Cathedral Choir sings a varied and adventurous repertoire, and has undertaken successful tours including visits to Russia, Norway and the USA. The choir has made several recordings, most recently the first volume of a new series of The Psalms of David on the Priory label.

He is well known as a solo organist and maintains a busy schedule of recitals. He has played many solo recitals on BBC Radio 3, mostly on the organ of Gloucester Cathedral. At the 1977 Three Choirs’ Festival, he gave the first performance of Rory Boyle’s Toccata, commissioned for the Festival and broadcast live. He has made CD recordings on a variety of organs, including the historic Hill organ in Kidderminster Town Hall, Wymondham Abbey and Exeter Cathedral. He has played in most of the major venues in the UK, and in 1995 was organist at the Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall.

Andrew's varied experience as a choral conductor is extensive. In his early years in the Midlands he conducted Kidderminster Choral Society, Birmingham Bach Society and two notable chamber choirs: The Saint Cecilia Singers (Gloucester) and Aldwyn Consort of Voices (Malvern) both won major awards in the BBC competition Let the People Sing under his direction. During his time at Exeter he has directed the University Cantors and the Exeter Bach Society, and in 2003 he was appointed as Director of Music of Exeter Philharmonic Choir. He has conducted this choir in many of the major choral works; future projects include performances of Patrick Hawes’ Lazarus Requiem and the recently re-discovered Cambridge Mass by Vaughan Williams.

Other musical activities include work for the Royal School of Church Music: in 1989 he directed a summer course in South Africa and has led a number of courses and events in the UK. As a teacher he has worked at the universities of Surrey, London and Exeter, and he is active as a composer. He has had a number of choral pieces published. He is a past President of the Cathedral Organists’ Association and an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

He is married with three grown-up children. His wife, Madeleine is a well-known textiles artist. Non-musical interests include watching sport, gardening and walking (recent conquests include the 630-mile South West Coast Path). He is a life-long supporter of Aston Villa FC, and also enjoys following his local team, Exeter City.