Composer, church musician, conductor and organist -- Richard Webster retired in September 2022 as Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. As a composer and arranger he completes several commissioned works a year. His hymn arrangements for brass, percussion, organ and congregation are heard across the world, including the CBC's Christmas and Easter broadcasts, BBC's "Songs of Praise,” at a hymn festival in Sweden’s Lund Cathedral, in an Australian celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and on a recording of hymns from Taiwan.
At Trinity, Boston, where he cofounded the Trinity Choristers, he led the choirs on five tours of England, with residencies at York Minster; Westminster Abbey; Durham, Ely, Lincoln, Chichester, Salisbury, Wells, Winchester and St. Paul’s Cathedrals. During his tenure, Trinity's 1926 Skinner nave organ was successfully renovated and a new 4-manual Skinner replica console added.
Richard is Music Director of Chicago's Bach Week Festival, featuring some of the nation's most acclaimed musicians. Sought after as a choral clinician, he has led choir courses and workshops across the U.S., South Africa and New Zealand. He is an honorary Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music (FRSCM), and holds the Doctor of Music degree, honoris causa, from the University of the South at Sewanee. He is in his second year as guest lecturer at Yale.
Richard has performed and recorded as organist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in works from the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony to Ives’ Fourth Symphony. He is the Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois, where, from 1974 to 2003 he directed the Choir of Men and Boys, the Girls Choir, Schola and the St. Luke’s Singers in a program widely respected and emulated. The restoration of the celebrated 1922 Ernest M. Skinner organ, Opus 327 at St. Luke’s was accomplished under his leadership.
A native of Nashville, Mr. Webster studied organ with the late Peter Fyfe, Karel Paukert and Wolfgang Rübsam. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Great Britain, as Organ Scholar at Chichester Cathedral under the late John Birch.
Webster's works are published by Augsburg Fortress, Church Music Society, Church Publishing, Selah and Advent Press. His articles on church music have appeared in The American Organist, The Diapason, Chicago Tribune, The Living Church, Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Choral Journal of the ACDA and the Windy City Times. He was a contributing author to Leading the Church’s Song, published by Augsburg.
A passionate runner, Richard has completed 42 marathons, including 19 Boston Marathons.