Organist and Master of the Choristers
Hailed by Australia’s ABC Classic FM as an ‘extraordinary musician’ and BBC Radio 3 CD Review as a ‘virtuoso’, Joseph Nolan enjoys a reputation as an organist and musician of international repute.
Joseph holds the unique distinction of being the first British/Australian organist to have been recorded commercially on the organs of Buckingham Palace Ballroom, London, St Sulpice Paris, and in September 2015 at St Etienne Du Mont in Paris, the church and organ of Maurice Duruflé: all for award-winning UK record company, Signum Records.
A pupil of two legendary figures in the musical world, Marie-Claire Alain and Dame Gillian Weir, Joseph’s studies were supported by scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust, Hattori Foundation and Royal Philharmonic Society, following Joseph being awarded First Class Honours for his BMus final recital at the Temple Church, London. Upon completion of his organ studies in London and Paris, Joseph was appointed to Her Majesty's Chapels Royal, St James' Palace in 2004. Joseph broadcast with the choir on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM, as well as performing as an organ soloist with the Royal Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra at the Thanksgiving Service for Princess Diana at Wellington Barracks. Joseph performed on many occasions at Buckingham Palace, most notably giving the inaugural recital of the refurbished Ballroom organ to a distinguished invited audience.
As a recording artist for Signum, Joseph's discography is unique with solo organ discs having been also recorded on the majority of France's most prized organs including St Sulpice and La Madeleine in Paris, St Ouen Rouen, St Sernin Toulouse and St François de Sales Lyon.
Joseph has recorded the complete organ works of Charles-Marie Widor on many of these instruments to universal critical acclaim, described as ‘utterly authoritative’ by Gramophone Magazine and The Australian Newspaper. They have been awarded multiple five-star awards in BBC Music Magazine, International Record Review, as well as receiving an 'Editor's Choice' in ABC Limelight Magazine. MusicWeb International awarded Volume 4 of the Widor cycle 'Recording of the Year' in 2014, as well as describing the cycle as 'shaping up to be the Widor cycle of the decade'.
Joseph has also performed extensively across several continents and his work has been broadcast on most radio networks including BBC Radio 3, USA Pipedreams and ABC and UK Classic FM. He has worked as organ soloist and accompanist with The King’s Singers at the Bad Homburg International Festival and with internationally acclaimed trumpeters Alison Balsom, Crispian Steele-Perkins and David Elton. Joseph is also accompanist to the West Australian Principal Flautist, Andrew Nicholson.
Joseph made his debut with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra at Perth Concert Hall playing Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony for the opening of the WASO Classics concerts. This concert was recorded and broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
Joseph is also an acclaimed choral conductor and was invited to take up the post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia in March 2008.
Joseph conducts the nationally renowned choirs of the Cathedral, who since his arrival are now regularly in demand on ABC TV and Radio, and have worked with The Hilliard Ensemble, the Academy of Ancient Music, and I Fagiolini. They have been described as ‘elite, faultless and world-class’ by The Australian and The West Australian.
As Artistic Director of the Cathedral’s Concert Series, Joseph programmes core repertoire such as Bach's St Matthew Passion (which received a five-star review in The West Australian) and has brought new works and premieres to Australia. These include the Australian premieres of Pachelbel's Vespers and Alexander Levine's Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, and the West Australian premiere of Monteverdi's Vespers with authentic instruments.
Joseph was made an Honorary Fellow of The University of Western Australia for services to music in Perth and internationally in 2013.
In April 2016, Joseph was awarded the medal of Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of Arts and Letters by order of the French Minister of Culture and Communication, in recognition of his services to French Music.
Michael commenced piano lessons at the age of four and enjoyed success on the instrument, receiving his Associate Diploma of Music (AMusA) from the Australian Music Examinations Board in 2013. A former chorister of St George’s Cathedral Choir, Michael took up lessons on the organ with Stewart Smith in 2012 after a long fascination with the instrument, and was appointed organ scholar at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Mosman Park in 2013. In 2014 he became the St Cecilia organ scholar at St Mary’s Anglican Church in South Perth, and the following year took up positions at Christ Church, Claremont as an organ scholar and member of Schola Aedis Christi where he sang as a tenor. In 2015, Michael was awarded his AMusA on the organ with distinction, winning the West Australian Music Teachers Association A J Leckie Memorial Award for the best AMusA candidate for that year, and received his LMusA only a year later. Michael is currently the organ tutor at Christ Church Grammar School and in his second year at the University of Western Australia where he is studying a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in music and political science. He is also a resident of St George’s College where he holds the organ scholarship.