I was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1957. As a schoolboy I learned to play the piano, organ, clarinet and most brass instruments, and dabbled in the cello for a while.

I studied at the University of Cape Town from 1976 to 1979 and graduated with the Bachelor of Music degree with a major in composition. During this time I was organ scholar at St. George’s Cathedral (Anglican) with its marvellous Hill organ. For six years after that I was a clarinettist in a military band, and then a school teacher, while also leading a contemporary music ensemble, being organist of various churches (finally assistant organist at Cape Town cathedral again) and writing a big work for large orchestra which earned me an M.Mus from the University Of Cape Town.

With two scholarships in my pocket I was able to travel to Vienna in 1986, where I enrolled at the Hochschule für Musik as a composition student of Francis Burt and an organ student of Martin Haselböck. In October of that year I moved to Lübeck, where Martin Haselböck had taken up a professorship, and completed my Konzertexamen  in organ performance at the beginning of 1988, followed by the “B” and “A” church music diplomas in 1992 and 1994. During these years I worked and lived in Kiel, where I was initially assistant organist at the town church of St. Nikolai and later organist of the Osterkirche.

In August 1994 I was appointed as Organist and choral director of Magdeburg Cathedral and have worked there ever since. I have a fairly busy schedule as recitalist in Germany and abroad. From 2003 until 2006 2003 I was also lecturer in organ at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig. In November 2004 I was awarded the honorary title of Kirchenmusikdirektor.

It was a great priviledge to be heavily involved in the planning and building of two new organs for the cathedral.


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© Barry Jordan