Philip Arkwright

Philip Arkwright is Organist & Master of the Music at Buckfast Abbey. Born in St Helens, Merseyside, Philip began his musical career as Organ Scholar at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and was subsequently appointed as Sub-Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Philip graduated with a combined honours degree in theology and religious studies, with music, from Liverpool Hope University, and afterwards with a master’s degree in Sacred Music. During his tenure at Buckfast Abbey, Philip has overseen the expansion of the music department to include the new Ruffatti organ, the formation of a new choir of choristers, a thriving concert and organ recital series, in addition to the establishment of the Abbey’s own record label. In 2018, Philip directed the Abbey Choir at a number of high profile services and events to celebrate 1000 years since the monastery’s foundation, including a live televised broadcast of Christmas Midnight Mass – the first such broadcast from a Roman Catholic abbey in the UK.

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    The Choir of Buckfast Abbey presents music for the First Vespers of Our Lady of Buckfast, the Abbey’s patronal feast on 24 May. The Gregorian chant of the Monastic Rite is interspersed with glorious polyphonic works by Felice Anerio, William Byrd and Francisco Guerrero, culminating in the splendid Magnificat Octavi toni by Tomás Luis de Victoria. A thrilling new arrangement of the traditional devotional hymn Hail, Queen of heaven is the climax of...