Roger Sayer


 

Roger SayerIn October 2013, Roger Sayer took up the post of Director of Music at Temple Church, London, having worked at Rochester Cathedral since 1989. 

Roger began his musical career as a chorister in Portsmouth and went on to study at the Royal College of Music under the late Nicholas Danby, winning all the major organ prizes. Between 1980 and 1984 he was organ student at St. Paul's Cathedral, London and in 1981 was appointed organist of Woodford Parish Church, where he built up a fine musical tradition.

Since graduating he has been constantly in demand as an organist and conductor. In 1989 he won third prize in the St Albans International Organ Competition and in the same year was appointed Assistant Organist at Rochester Cathedral. In 1994 Roger was promoted to the position of Organist and Director of Music at Rochester Cathedral where his responsibilities included directing the traditional boys' choir on a daily basis.  In 1995 and 2004 respectively he established the Girls' Choir and Senior Girls' Choir, both of which continue to play an important role in the Cathedral’s musical life. In September 2008 Roger relinquished the post of Director of Music concentrating on his freelance activities whilst he remained Cathedral Organist.

Roger makes regular visits to Scandinavia as well as giving frequent concerts in most parts of Europe. In the last two years, his performances have taken him to Iceland, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and the USA, including performances at Riverside Church in New York. Concerts have included the organ symphonies of Vierne and all the organ works of Duruflé.  As founder of the Great Organ Works series at Rochester Cathedral, Roger played many of the monthly concerts including the complete organ works of J.S. Bach in 2005. Roger has made numerous highly acclaimed recordings both as an organist and conductor and has recorded a new CD soon to be released. His first CD directing the Temple Church Choir will be released in February 2015 which includes a world premier by Nico Muhly. 

He is the accompanist and Deputy Chorus Director of the London Symphony Chorus, working closely with the late Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev and Sir Mark Elder. He frequently directs choral workshops and has initiated and directed several projects including Britten's Noyes Fludde and a children's music education week.

The Midas Touch Organ Duo, which Roger co-founded with Charles Andrews, has performed concerts in Ireland, the U.K. (including the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester) and the U.S.A. Their repertoire has a unique flavour, including transcriptions of the James Bond theme tunes. In November 2012 they premiered a new organ sonata commissioned from David Briggs. In 2014 Roger was heard as the organ soloist in the recent block buster film Interstellar. This year He will embark on recording the 20 organ sonatas of Rheinberger.

Aside from Roger's playing engagements, he examines for the ABRSM.