Runnett Competition Winners announced

Posted on: 7 March 2017

The St John's College Organ

The Brian Runnett Prize Competition for 2017 - held on Tuesday 21 February in St John's College Chapel, has been jointly won by Mr Richard Gowers of King's College and Ms Polina Sosnina of Magdalene College.

All candidates were required to perform two works on the Chapel's Thistlethwaite Organ to a panel of adjudicators including Mr David Dunnett, Mr Geraint Bowen and Mr John Challenger. Both chose to perform the J. S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in G BWV 541 and the Messiaen Les Bergers (La Nativité du Seigneur). They will share the prize of £800 between them.

John Challenger said 'we were delighted by the high level of interest shown in this competition, and the judges enjoyed hearing the extraordinary talents of these five accomplished organists.'

Brian Runnett, who was appointed as Organ Scholar at St John's in 1960, was later Lecturer of Music and Organist at Manchester University and Organist and Master of the Choristers at Norwich Cathedral before he was tragically killed in a road accident in 1970. The prize was established in his memory.

On this week's webcast from Sunday 5 March, the Choir perform the stunning Kenneth Leighton's Second Service, which was also commissioned by the Cathedral Organists' Association in memory of Brian Runnett. Follow the link below to listen to the service.

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Latest webcast

Recorded on
9 June 2019


  • Responses and Preces: Shephard
  • Psalm 48 (Goss)
  • Antiphon: Non vos relinquam
  • Howells (Collegium Regale)
  • Harvey: Come, Holy Ghost
  • Hymns 140, 408(i)
  • Preacher: The Rev’d Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust William Shakespeare
  • Voluntary: J.S. Bach Komm, Heiliger Geist (BWV 651)



Choral singing comes no better

Fiona Maddocks, The Observer