19 April 2011


While the eyes of the world will be on the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, The University of Sydney has good reason to celebrate another major milestone at the famous institution later this year.

Conservatorium alumni, Andrej Kouznetsov has been selected to take up the prized role of Organ Scholar at Westminster Abbey from September 1.

His 12 month appointment continues a wonderful tradition of Australian organists at the Abbey. Sir William McKie was Organist and Master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey from 1941-1963, and directed the choir and orchestra for the Queen's Coronation in 1953.

Andrej's main duties will be playing the organ for services and recitals, assisting with the choir library and working with the choristers.

He was selected from his current position as Organ Scholar at Salisbury Cathedral, having previously been the organist at St James, King St. Sydney from 2008.

Of his time at Salisbury Cathedral, Andrej said, "It's given me invaluable experience in the discipline of maintaining a rigorous daily routine - working with two sets of choristers, playing the famous Father Willis organ for a minimum of three services a week, and giving regular short recitals."

David Halls, Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral, recently told the Salisbury Journal, "Andrej thoroughly deserves this exciting appointment to Westminster Abbey. During his time with us, he has proved to be a most skilful organist with nerves of steel."

24 year old Andrej commenced his organ studies under the mentorship of Philip Swanton as a student at the Conservatorium High School in 2000, before completing his Bachelor of Music Performance degree with Philip in 2007.

He held the University of Sydney Organ Scholarship for two years and won prizes in numerous competitions, including first place in the Open Section of the Sydney Organ Competition in 2008.

Of Andrej's appointment, Philip Swanton said, "This is a wonderful recognition for an immensely talented and dedicated musician. It is a highly prestigious role and one that I have no doubt Andrej will flourish in."

Dean and Principal of the Conservatorium, Professor Kim Walker noted, "Andrej joins an illustrious and growing list of Con alumni who can be found displaying their talents in major institutions, performing ensembles and teaching academies around the world. We are very proud of his achievements and wish him every success."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 06110e275a24333840232f182a0d17404f01080f1f4024560c4a070d