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Martin Setchell

CountryNew Zealand
OccupationArranger, Composer, Performer, Teacher
CategoriesClassical, Sacred, Vocal

Born and educated in the north of England town of Blackpool, Martin holds Honours degrees in both French and Music from the University of Exeter, and he was awarded both the Limpus and Shinn prizes when he received his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists in London. Subsequently he undertook advanced studies in Classical organ technique with Pierre Cochereau (then titular organist of Notre Dame in Paris), Marie-Claire Alain, Piet Kee, and Peter Hurford.
Martin emigrated to New Zealand in 1974 on his appointment to the University of Canterbury School of Music where he is Associate Professor of Music and tutor in organ. He combines his university teaching and research career with a busy schedule of recitals and concerts as soloist, accompanist and continuo player on organ and harpsichord. Ten years ago he was appointed curator of the 1997 Rieger pipe organ in the Christchurch Town Hall. Since then, he has devoted himself entirely to promoting the organ as a concert instrument in its own right.
His solo concert tours outside New Zealand have taken him to Australia, America, Europe and the Far East. Some concert highlights include the Spreckels organ in Balboa Park, San Diego, the famous Hill organ in Sydney Town Hall, Australia, Oliwa Cathedral in Poland as part of the Gdansk International Organ Festival, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Guangdong Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, China, the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, Tokyo, Japan, St Paul's Cathedral, London, and St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. Concerts in 2008- 2011 took him to Japan, Germany, the UK, China, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, and in 2012 he will undertake concert tours in Europe and the USA. Martin's CDs are often heard on the BBC's The Organist Entertains, Minnesota's Pipe Dreams, and Radio New Zealand.

As a composer, Martin Setchell concentrates on writing tuneful and accessible organ and choral music, which is published by Kevin Mayhew Music, and Fagus Music in the UK, and is heard internationally. He is best known through his recent volumes of transcriptions of music by Fauré, Bizet and the Sousa marches. Oxford University Press has recently published a volume of his organ arrangements of works by Saint-Saëns and Purcell.
Martin's other activities include conducting (especially choral works and chamber operas), examining for Trinity Guildhall, London, and after-dinner speaking. He lives in Christchurch with his wife Jenny, and two Burmese cats.

He was recently honoured by the City of Christchurch, receiving a Civic Award for services to music in the community and the Town Hall organ in particular.

Martin Setchell