JAMES KENNERLEY, Founder + Artistic Director
Hailed as “a great organist” displaying “phenomenal technique and sheer musicality” (Bloomberg News), James Kennerley is a multi-faceted musician, working as a conductor, keyboardist, singer, and composer. In 2018 he was appointed Municipal Organist of the City of Portland, Maine, one of only two such remaining posts in the country. In September 2019 he will become Music Director of the renowned men and boys’ choir of Saint Paul’s Choir School in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.
Mr. Kennerley enjoys an active career as conductor and choir trainer, having made his Lincoln Center conducting début in 2009. He currently serves as Music Director of the 80-voice Ars Musica Chorale based in Ridgewood, NJ; as Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus; as Organist and Choirmaster at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church in NYC, and as part of the musical team at Park Avenue Synagogue in NYC. He was previously Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Times Square, and was Associate Director of Music and Director of the Choir of Men and Boys at Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Mr. Kennerley is a recognized specialist in the realm of early music, having collaborated with William Christie, Richard Egarr, Nicholas McGegan, Christopher Hogwood, Monica Huggett, Julian Wachner, and Gary Thor Wedow, among others. He has given solo harpsichord concerts throughout the United States and Europe to great acclaim, and recorded a CD featuring virtuosic works for harpsichord by sixteenth-century English composer John Bull to be released on Centaur Records this year. He has also been featured on recent recordings of the Bach motets (Grammy® nomination), Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah and Monteverdi’s Vespers with the choir of Trinity Wall Street. He is also a member of the early music ensemble Sonnambula, 2018-2019 ensemble-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A prize-winning composer, he specializes in music for organ and choral ensembles, and for works that incorporate historic instruments. His 2012 piece Lauda novella was featured as part of the Twelfth Night Festival at Trinity Church Wall Street and he was awarded first place in the Association of Anglican Musicians’ 2013 composition competition.
A native of the United Kingdom, Mr. Kennerley was born in 1984 and became a chorister of Chelmsford Cathedral. He was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University, where he was Organ Scholar at Jesus College, and later was appointed Organ Scholar of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London; he also holds the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists diploma, and a graduate degree from The Juilliard School.
THE CHOIR OF SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH