Philip Stopford (b.1977) began his musical career as a Chorister, aged 8, at Westminster Abbey, London, singing under the direction of Simon Preston and Martin Neary. After being awarded a major music scholarship to Bedford School, he was appointed Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral, Cornwall before reading music at Keble College, Oxford where he was also Organ Scholar. Philip then moved to be Organ Scholar at Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Communion, before moving to Chester Cathedral to be Assistant Organist. In 2003, Philip was appointed Director of Music at Belfast Cathedral, Northern Ireland, becoming the youngest Anglican Cathedral Director of Music in the country at that time, aged just 25.
With this extensive background in choral music, Philip has become a respected choir trainer and composer of church music and has sold $1 million worth of sheet music. He is published by US companies Hal Leonard and MorningStar Music, and other pieces are self-published at www.philipstopford.com available from all good retailers; www.jwpepper.com, www.sheetmusicplus.com, www.musicshopeurope.com, www.musicroom.com.
Philip recorded a first CD of his own choral music with ‘Ecclesium’ at Keble College, Oxford. The disc was named Editor’s Choice by Organists’ Review, August 2006. Philip directed this CD and four consecutive CDs of his own music; ‘Creation’ (2006), ‘Love Never Ends’ (2007), ‘A Christmas Blessing’ (2008), ‘Te Deum, Benedicite and Music for the Liturgy’ (2012). In 2012, Truro Cathedral Choir recorded a complete Stopford CD, ‘Do not be afraid’ which made the Specialist Classical Music Chart. In 2013, Philip’s Lully Lulla Lullay entered the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the first time at number 248. In 2014, it climbed 152 places become the year’s highest climber of the entire chart.
In September 2015, Philip was appointed Composer in Residence at Christ Church, Bronxville, just outside New York City. A temporary post of four months has become a full time job, and Philip is now Director of Music at the church. Philip will also continue to offer workshop and concert performances, and periodically accepts new commissions from choirs across the globe.
In February 2017, Truro Cathedral recorded another CD of Philip’s church music, this time with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. ‘In My Father’s House’ was released later in the year to coincide to celebrate Philip’s fortieth birthday, and to share brand new orchestrations of his anthems and Christmas carols.
Recent commissions include; The Chorister Prayer (Llandaff Cathedral), Bring Us O Lord God (Friends of Cathedral Music Diamond Fund Concert at St Paul’s Cathedral, London), Ave Maris Stella (Voces8), Durham Jubilate (Durham Cathedral) and Jesus Christ Is Lord (Christ Church, Bronxville).
Philip’s YouTube channel has had over 4 million views with over 6,000 subscribers (www.youtube.com/philipstopford). He is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In February 2019, Philip rescued a stray dog and renamed him Dilon, a fourteen month old fox-terrier-wire mixed breed, who sings at the sound of the NYC emergency vehicles!