Alistair Nelson has been Organist at St. James’ Church, King Street, since September 2012. Previously he was Associate Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, NY, where he has been for the past four years. At the Cathedral Alistair directed the Girls’ Choir and Schola Cantorum, and assisted with and accompanied the Choir of Men and Boys. Whilst living in New York, he sang in vocal ensembles Khorikos and Upper West Sound, and served on the staff of the Montreal Boys’ Choir course. Alistair was born in London and grew up in Sydney. He began his organ studies at Trinity Grammar School with Heather Moen, and was Organ Scholar for Peter McMillan at St. Anne’s, Strathfield, and St. Paul’s, Burwood. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Honours First Class) at the University of Sydney, studying with Robert Ampt. He was also a member of Sydney choirs such as Vox and Polyphony.

Before Alistair moved to the United States, he was working as Assistant Organist at Christ Church St. Laurence, Sydney. In July 2005 he won the First Prize (the John Brown Award) in the Sydney Organ Competition, and he also made a Young Performers recording for the ABC. This was broadcast on the Rising Stars programme of ABC Classic FM, as was the recording of his Yale degree recital in 2007. He plans to make another recording in the near future, featuring a transcription of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.

Alistair moved to the United States in 2005 for his Master of Music degree at Yale University, where he studied repertoire with Tom Murray and Martin Jean, and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. Whilst at Yale he was Senior Organ Scholar at Christ Church, New Haven, where he enjoyed accompanying the superb choir on a brand new organ in a wonderful building.

Back in Sydney, Alistair is enjoying accompanying the splendid Choir of St James’, indulging his love of organ improvisation, appreciating the fine liturgy at St. James’ and making music with the newly formed St James’ Singers