Brian Cotterill grew
up in Farnham, Surrey, where he studied piano with Marjorie Livock and organ
with David Victor-Smith whilst a head chorister at St Thomas-on-The Bourne. At
University College, Cardiff he studied organ with Robert Court and composition with
Alun Hoddinott and Timothy Taylor, during which time, as Organ Scholar, he held
the position of Organist at the University Parish Church.
Brian has held several organist posts, including three highly successful years as Director of Music at St Peter’s Parish Church, Farnborough and four rewarding years as Organist at St Thomas-on-The Bourne, Farnham. A qualified teacher, he has also musically directed (and written) many school shows and has performed in the USA, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and in many parts of England and Wales.
In July 2012 Brian notably played the organ for Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and took part in a Papal Mass at Frascati Cathedral in Rome. Brian also holds a professional Braille music qualification and has transcribed for and taught music to the visually impaired.
A keen composer, Brian has written and arranged works for the Maidenhead Chamber Choir, the Albion Brass Consort in London, the Farnham Youth Choir, Canzonetta, the choirs of St Peter’s, Farnborough, St Thomas-on-The Bourne, Farnham Heath End School and Lanesborough School in Guildford. He also spent three years as the resident organist for ‘Vox’, a chamber choir of professional standard singers and another three years as Musical Director of the Guildford Cathedral Occasional Singers.
Brian spent over seven years as Director of Music at Lanesborough School (the choir school of Guildford Cathedral) and was also the Musical Director of the Surrey Songsters and a regular visiting organist at Guildford Cathedral. During this time he was also a leader of Sing Up for the Guildford area and was the South East Representative for NAME (National Association of Music Educators).
Brian has also written and presented three series of radio broadcasts entitled "Hymn of the Week" which were aired on BBC Radio Surrey's Sunday morning faith programme.
From 2013 – 2017 Brian was Director of Music at St Edmund’s School in Hindhead where he oversaw the running of seven choirs every week. In July 2014 he took his Chapel and Chamber Choirs on tour to Venice where they performed in St Mark’s Basilica. In 2016 they toured in Tuscany where they performed in Florence and in Lucca Cathedral. Brian is also the official accompanist of Song Circle, a chamber choir formed from members of BBC Symphony Chorus.
More recently, Brian spent four years teaching piano for Surrey Arts and is now a piano teacher at Edgeborough School in Farnham. He is also a regular organist and choirmaster at Odiham Parish Church and is in much demand both locally and nationally as an organ recitalist, an accompanist and choral conductor.
Brian and his wife, Irish operatic soprano Nicola Sharkey, were married in August 2000. Together they perform regular and highly popular recitals and in 2001 released their first CD “Music for a While”. A second CD, “Music When Soft Voices Die” was released to much acclaim in 2006.