Robert Costin

Organist & Harpsichordist


Robert Costin began his musical career as a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral under the direction of Christopher Gower, who was also his first organ teacher. Attendance at The King’s School was followed by the award of a music scholarship to Oundle School, where he was taught by James Parsons and gained his ARCO diploma at the age of seventeen. In his final year at Oundle Robert held the Organ Scholarship at St Matthew’s Church, Northampton. Robert maintained his links with Oundle for many years as a tutor to aspiring young organists at the Oundle International Organ Festival. On leaving school he spent a year at the Royal Academy of Music, studying organ with Nicholas Danby and harpsichord with John Toll, as well as participating in classes given by such prominent musicians as Dame Gillian Weir, Ton Koopman, Lionel Rogg and Gaston Litaize. His piano teachers have included Benjamin Frith and Graeme Humphrey.

Robert gained his FRCO diploma at the age of nineteen and went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge as an organ scholar. As well as reading for a degree in music, he directed the Pembroke Chapel Choir, including a major tour to Romania, and studied organ with David Sanger.

Graduation was followed by a move to New Zealand to take up the post of Assistant Director of Music at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. During this time Robert became a National Recording Artist for Radio New Zealand and won second prize in the Hamilton International Organ Competition in 1994. Following a period as Interim Director of Music at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, he returned to the UK to take up the position of Assistant Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral. During this time Robert was a regular organist for the BBC Daily Service and performed with the Northern Chamber Orchestra and Manchester Camerata.

Robert's concert career has taken him all over the world, with venues including Washington National Cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and Auckland Town Hall. He made his concerto debut with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2011. Robert has appeared regularly as a performer and broadcaster on Radio New Zealand, including writing and presenting programmes on the lives and music of Tomás Luis de Victoria and Herbert Howells. His recordings have featured on the popular US radio programme 'Pipedreams'.

Robert is presently Head of Music at St Louis School, Milan, and will take up the post of Director of Music at Rugby School Thailand in September 2018. He has previously held teaching posts at Highgate School, St Paul's Cathedral School, Ardingly College, Bedford School and Worksop College. Robert has led choir tours to Rome, Paris, Berlin, Dublin, and Cork, and has conducted in Notre Dame de Paris, St Peter's Basilica and Berlin Cathedral.

Whilst he was Director of Music at Ardingly College, Robert started and directed the concert series Music@Ardingly with the aim of bringing top-class musicians to Ardingly College to give concerts and classes. Performers included Julian Lloyd Webber, Emma Johnson, John Lill, Stephen Hough, The Sixteen, The Allegri Quartet, VOCES8, The Gould Trio, and Chichester Cathedral Choir.

Robert has released seven internationally-acclaimed solo CDs on the Kiwi Pacific, Atoll and Stone Record labels.