Leeds Minster’s celebrated master of music is to retire

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Simon Lindley who has been master of music at Leeds Minster for the last 40 years is to retire, it was announced today.

Dr Lindley, is both organist and director of the Minster’s choir, is also music director of St Peter’s Singers, a leading chamber choirs and organist at Leeds Town Hall. He will leave the post next year.

The Revd Canon Sam Corley, rector-designate of Leeds Minster, said: “For more than 40 years, Dr Lindley has poured his many talents and considerable energy into the life of the Minster and into the musical life of this fabulous city. “We have much to thank Simon for and we shall of course be celebrating his many achievements in due course.

Dr Lindley’s last service as master of music will be the service to mark the 175th anniversary of the dedication of the present church, to be held at 3pm on Saturday, September 3 2016.

He said: “I have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy for some months yet, my work at the Minster immensely. It is challenging and sometimes exciting but never dull. The privilege of working with splendid musicians and clergy has been the backbone of a long period of service and the appreciation from Leeds folk continues to be greatly valued by us all here.”

Dr Lindley, as well as directing many community choir events in support of charitable causes, is conductor of Sheffield Bach Choir and Doncaster Choral Society, and music director of Overgate Hospice Choir, Halifax and Leeds College of Music Community Choral Society.

He is widely travelled as a solo organist, and an extensive discography includes two best-selling Naxos releases - French Organ Music and Handel Concertos - and an award-winning performance of Khachaturian’s Organ Symphony with the BBC Philharmonic.

Dr Lindley, who was educated at Magdalen College School, Oxford and the Royal College of Music, has honorary doctorates from the University of Huddersfield and Leeds Beckett University in recognition of his services to choral music locally, nationally and internationally.

In 2006 he was presented with the Spirit of Leeds award by Leeds Civic Trust.