Kevin Bowyer

  • Artist

Kevin Bowyer was born in Southend-on-Sea in January 1961. His initial studies with Eric Welch led him to the Royal Academy of Music (1979-82), where his teachers included Douglas Hawkridge, Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, Arthur Wills, Paul Steinitz, Arthur Pritchard and Virginia Black. Subsequently he studied with David Sanger on an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Five international first prizes in organ playing (St. Albans, Dublin, Paisley, Odense and Calgary) led to an early recording career, notably a 13 year contract (1988-2001) with Nimbus Records, producing a large number of CDs, including a 29 CD set of the complete organ music of J S Bach.

In 1987 he gave the world premiere of Kaikhosru Sorabji’s (1892-1988) 2 hour solo Symphony for organ (1924), considered unplayable ever since its appearance in print, and this gave rise to his reputation for playing “impossible” music – a field that keeps him busy to this day – he is regularly called upon to play Brian Ferneyhough, Chris Dench, Iannis Xenakis,Milton Babbitt, Niccolo Castiglioni, etc.

He taught organ at the RNCM in Manchester from 1999-2008 but gave up the post in order to concentrate on a six year PhD project, producing the first critical, practice-based edition of the complete organ works of Sorabji (all three solo symphonies – a total of more than 1,000 pages of dense A3, funded by the University of Glasgow Trust). In 2010 he gave the premiere of Sorabji’s monumental Second Organ Symphony (1929-32), at over eight hours in length, the longest solo organ work in existence.

Kevin has played and broadcast throughout the world and is one of the most heavily recorded organists ever, having released more than 100 commercial CDs. He still keeps a small number of students, a few of whom travel more than halfway across the world for their lessons.

Kevin has been Organist to the University of Glasgow, Scotland since 2005.


Kevin Bowyer, organ