At the age of 24 Marc Rochester became one of the youngest people ever to hold the position of Organist and Master of the Choristers at a British cathedral when he was appointed to Londonderry Cathedral in Northern Ireland. Now, 30 years on, he remains a unique figure on the organ scene, combining an active career as a performer (he has been Resident Organist of Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS in Kuala Lumpur since its inception in 1998) with a parallel one as a writer and broadcaster on music, with a particular slant towards the organ and its repertoire, on which he is widely regarded as a leading authority.
Born in London Marc’s early training was as a chorister. He had his first organ lessons from his father and subsequent teachers included Peter Mound (at Aldershot Parish Church where the 14-year-old Marc held his first assistant organist’s post), Michael Austin (Wimborne Minster) and Martin Neary (Westminster Abbey). He studied music at the University of Wales in Cardiff where he was organ scholar and worked alongside Robert Joyce at Llandaff Cathedral. As a solo recitalist he has performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
It was during his time at Cardiff researching for a PhD that Marc began to work in journalism, first as Arts Correspondent with the daily Western Mail newspaper and subsequently with the BBC where, for several years, he wrote and presented an afternoon arts programme broadcast live five afternoons a week. He has long been associated with Gramophone magazine as a critic and is one of the co-authors of the annual Good CD Guide, and in recent years has written for most of the leading musical magazines and contributed to leading dictionaries and encyclopaedias on music. He is also a prolific writer of concert programme notes (notably for the Malaysian Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestras as well as for the BBC Proms) and CD liner notes (particular for BIS, EMI, Hyperion and Guild) and is currently writing a book, Putting Music Into Words prompted by his work as a music examiner for the both the ABRSM and Trinity-Guildhall.