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News from the Province


A Yorkshireman In New York

Paul Bowen - Cathedral Organist

Paul Bowen outside St Thomas, 5th Avenue, New York City

Paul Bowen is a Yorkshireman, who developed a keen interest in the organ when in his teens he was a regular attendee at recitals in York Minster. During his time as an undergraduate at the University of Leeds, where he read mathematics and operational research, he served as organ scholar at Leeds Parish Church, as well as being the Edward Boyle Organ Scholar in the University of Leeds. Paul holds a MMus in Organ Performance from the University of Leeds, where he studied under Graham Barber and Simon Lindley.

Paul was appointed Assistant Organist in Bradford Cathedral in January 2004, and prior to that he served there as Second Assistant Organist for three years. In October 2011, Paul became the Cathedral Organist of Bradford Cathedral. His main duties involve playing the organ for all the main services, and being a regular performer in the cathedral’s prestigious lunchtime series.
As part of his work with the choir, Paul has played most of the cathedrals in the UK, and has accompanied the choir on numerous tours, most notably to Canada and Germany. Paul has broadcast on live television, and also on BBC radio.

In his capacity as cathedral organist at Bradford Cathedral, he receives invites to various places to give recitals. Last year he gave a recital at Westminster Abbey, and St Paul's Cathedral in London, the year before.
Pleasingly he's been invited back to St Paul's on August 12 this year. The regular round of recitals continues unabated at Bradford Cathedral, where weekly recitals are given on Wednesdays except during holiday periods.

Paul writes, "It was a particular pleasure for me to be invited to give the recital at St Thomas, 5th Avenue, NYC, as this is one of the most prestigious venues in the world, and to attend and play there was a no-brainer. I gave an exciting, mixed programme which was very well received. It was a particular pleasure to receive a letter of thanks a few days later from John Scott, Director of Music at St Thomas' Church, who, by coincidence, is a Yorkshireman!"

Paul at the Organ