Contemporary British Organ Music Series.
Michael Bonaventure, born 1962 in Edinburgh, was an organ pupil of Herrick Bunney at St.Giles Cathedral and a composition student of Judith Weir at Glasgow University. Based in south east London, he is Organist of All Saints Church, Blackheath. Inspired by the pioneering work of artists such as Karl-Erik Welin, Bengt Hambraeus, Jean Guillou and others, and greatly encouraged by Jean-Pierre Leguay and Geoffrey King, he has become a tireless advocate of new music, leading numerous composers to write for him; to date he has given over sixty premieres of new works and arrangements for organ by composers including Avril Anderson, Yumi Hara Cawkwell, Laurence Crane, Lyell Cresswell, Gabriel Jackson, Geoffrey King, Jean-Pierre Leguay, Edward McGuire, James MacMillan, Ian McQueen, Huw Morgan, Paul Patterson, Glyn Perrin, Timothy Salter, David Sutton-Anderson, Judith Weir, and the UK premieres of works by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, Jean-Pierre Leguay, Roderik de Man and Maciej Zielinski.
He has performed throughout the UK, and in the USA (including in St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, New York), Sweden and France (including in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris) and on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Scotland. Recent recital engagements have been in Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, The Purcell Room, St. Mary’s Episocpal Cathedral, Edinburgh (giving the Kenneth Leighton Celebration Recital in January 2009) and the Sounds New Festival in Canterbury; later in 2010 he will be performing in Coventry Cathedral, St. John’s, Upper Norwood, London and in the Sankt Peter Kunst Station church in Cologne, as part of the Contemporary Organ Music Festival held there in October.
As a recording artist, his considerable discography on the Delphian label includes an acclaimed rendition of Messiaen’s massive ‘Livre du Saint Sacrement’ – earning a 5-star review and selection as Editor’s instrumental ‘disc of the month’ in the 2008 Proms edition of the BBC Music Magazine – and in 2010 he has embarked on a series of recordings on the Sfz Music label, showcasing contemporary British music. Also active as a composer he has produced chamber, instrumental and vocal works for artists including pianist David Appleton (PianoCircus), new music ensemble Sounds Positive and the Merbecke Choir of Southwark Cathedral, who premiered his choral ‘Doxology’ in March this year under the direction of Huw Morgan.