John Scott has become one of the leading English concert and church organists from the latter 20th century. Actually he has effectively managed parallel careers: not only has he has held several important organ posts at London Cathedrals and concertized as an organ soloist, but he has regularly conducted the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral in concert and on recordings. As soloist and conductor he has performed extensively both at home and abroad, traveling to five continents including to the Far East and the United States. Scott's choice of organ repertory divulges a bias for the larger works from the late-Romantic period and from the 20th century, including much contemporary music. Scott has been prolific in the recording studio, having turned out more than thirty compact disc albums for Hyperion Records alone. He has also recorded for Collegium, Priory Records UK and others.
Scott was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, England on June 18, 1956. In his youth he was a chorister at the local cathedral and later studied organ at the Royal College of Organists. In 1974 he entered St. Johns, Cambridge as an organ scholar, and graduated in 1978. There he served as assistant to George Guest and studied organ with Dame Gillian Weir and Ralph Downes.
1978 was a breakthrough year for Scott: he won the Manchester Organ Competition and accepted a pair of important, albeit assistant organ posts at London's two Anglican cathedrals: Southwark and St. Paul's. In 1984 he won the J.S. Bach International Organ Competition in Leipzig, and the following year departed the Southwark Cathedral post to focus on work at St. Paul's.
Scott began recording for Hyperion in the mid-1980s and among his first releases was a 1986 disc of organ music by Marcel Dupré, which Hyperion reissued in 2006. In 1990 he was elevated to director of music and organist at St. Paul's, and thereafter led the choir in many acclaimed choral concerts and on numerous recordings: from 1993-2000 he recorded an eight-disc series of Psalms with the choir for Hyperion, and from 1989-2004 he recorded an eight-volume series of Anthems with the same forces.
Throughout the 1990s and the first decade of the new century Scott has remained active internationally as an organ soloist, to match his busy choral conducting schedule. His recent recordings include the 2004 CD of organ music by Percy Whitlock on Hyperion.
~ All Movie Guide