Joseph Cullen is an outstanding choral maestro, organist, church musician and teacher, much in demand in the UK and worldwide.
Joseph Cullen is an outstanding choral maestro, especially in his work with symphonic choruses. His association with Huddersfield Choral Society began in 1999 and he has earned a respected place in the cultural life of Yorkshire as a result of his successes. In a unique partnership with Martyn Brabbins he has brought this renowned choir to wider horizons and greater technical prowess, and toured with them to festivals abroad and as far as Osaka, Japan. Joseph has recently completed a trilogy of recordings of popular choral works with HCS on the Signum label conducting John Stainer's Crucifixion in its original version with organ accompaniment. In April he conducted the British premiere of Jonathan Harvey's Messages with the Chorus and the Orchestra of Opera North. He brought the Society to the Barbican Hall on Good Friday to conduct Handel's Messiah to an ecstatic audience, a culmination of the 175th anniversary year of the Huddersfield Choral Society.
For ten years Joseph Cullen has garnered consistently glowing critical reviews for his musical leadership of the London Symphony Chorus. He has collaborated with the world's greatest conductors and, in particular, with Sir Colin Davis whom he has recently assisted on Joseph's final tour with the LSO: Beethoven's Missa Solemnis at the BBC Proms and in Bonn, Paris and New York City. He has gained two Grammy awards for his choral work with the LSC and he has conducted this chorus in London, USA, Eire and Italy.
In a career which has encompassed appointments in three RC cathedrals, Joseph held his first organist post at the age of eleven and was a prize winner at the FRCO examinations while a teenager. He studied with George McPhee (and was his assistant at Paisley Abbey), Nicolas Kynaston, David Sanger, Flor Peeters and Jean Langlais in whose own church, Sainte Clothilde in Paris, he acted as organiste de choeur while living there in the 1990s. He has inaugurated several new organs for which he he acted as consultant and has been invited to return in September 2012 to Westminster Cathedral to perform in the Grand Organ Festival. He teaches plainsong accompaniment in Benedictine Abbeys in Britain and Rome.
Joseph Cullen has been steeped in the music of the Church since the age of seven when he joined the choir of the Jesuit Church in Glasgow, singing in much pioneering repertoire which has now become the staple diet of the specialist period-music choirs. He has gained a wide-ranging experience in many traditions: he was Organ Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, and also spent five years as Diocesan Director of Music in Leeds. Joseph has also held musical posts in the RC cathedrals of Glasgow and Westminster. He acts as a vocal consultant at several British Benedictine monasteries and, last November, began an association with the Abbey of St Cecilia in Rome, where there is an international school for Gregorian Chant. He is also working with the Blessed John Henry Newman Institute for Liturgical Music to promote worthy Liturgical Music in the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, following the aspirations of Pope Benedict which he voiced during his recent visit to this country.
Joseph Cullen has appeared as a conductor with with the Northern Sinfonia, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, BBC Concert Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of Opera North and the Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago. He has had a long partnership with the City of London Sinfonia with whom he often combines the role of continuo player and director, particularly in many performances of Bach's St Matthew Passion.