Born in Cardiff, Wales, Dr. Iain Quinn is an award-winning organist, musicologist, and composer with over ninety publications across multiple disciplines. He is Associate Professor of Organ and Coordinator of Sacred Music at Florida State University.
Dr. Quinn has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Composer in Chapel at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. As a composer, he has received commissions from churches across the USA and UK and from the American Guild of Organists. He has been a Fulbright Scholar (2017), teaching at The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory, the Rudolph Ganz Fellow (2018) at The Newberry Library, Chicago, and the recipient of a fellowship (2020) from the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin. Earlier in his career, he received a fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust for research on the historic organs of Brazil, and grants from Musica Britannica, Society for American Music, The Prince's Trust, and the Music & Letters Trust.
He began his study of the organ with Robert Court and Nicolas Kynaston, having also studied the piano and trumpet. In 1994, he moved to the USA to pursue advanced study at The Juilliard School, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, (BM summa cum laude), and the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University (MM). His principal teachers were John Weaver, Larry Allen, Thomas Murray, and William Porter (improvisation). In 2009, he returned to the UK as a Doctoral Fellow at the University of Durham where he was also Director of Music at the College of St Hild and St Bede. He completed the PhD (Historical Musicology) in 2012. He also holds the diplomas of Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music.
Dr. Quinn has held college, church and cathedral positions in Durham (UK), New York, Connecticut, New Mexico and Georgia. He has taught at the Blackheath Conservatoire, London, Western Connecticut State University, the University of the South summer school, and Oundle for Organists (UK) and he gives regular masterclasses. He has presented lectures and conference papers in the UK, Europe, and North America, including papers for the Royal Musical Association-Society for Musicology in Ireland, College Music Society, American Musicological Society, and for universities throughout the USA.
He is the author of two books: The Genesis and Development of an English Sonata (Routledge - Royal Musical Association Monograph Series, 2017); The Organist in Victorian Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and the editor of Studies in English Organ Music (Routledge, 2018). Further scholarly writings have been published in Tempo, Notes (MLA), Journal of Victorian Culture, The American Organist, The Organ, and Interpreting Historical Keyboard Music (Ashgate). He has also edited critical editions of Samuel Barber (2 vv) (G. Schirmer), Carl Czerny (2 vv), John Goss (A-R Editions), Corelli-Czerny, Robert Papperitz (Ur Orpheus Edizioni), and volumes 1 and 7 of the Edward Elgar Complete Edition. His reconstruction and publication of the early choral work of Samuel Barber, Christmas Eve, was the subject of interviews for American Public Media’s Performance Today and Pipedreams that were heard on National Public Radio with performances by the Harvard University Choir.
His most recent research will be published in his next monograph, Music, Religion, and Society in the writings of Ian McEwan – A Voice in Time. He is also working on a monograph titled The Blindness of Othering that examines the social, political, and literary legacy surrounding the 2016 Brexit vote.
Dr. Quinn has given performances in many of the world’s most important musical centers including London (St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral), Cambridge (King’s College, St. John’s College, Trinity College), Oxford (Queen’s College), Haarlem (St. Bavo), Berlin (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche), Lisbon (Sé), Melbourne (Melba Hall), Moscow (Gnessin Academy), Washington (National Cathedral and National Shrine), New York (St. Thomas Fifth Avenue and Alice Tully Hall) and Hong Kong (Cultural Centre). He has also performed at many international festivals, including Tender is the North (Barbican Centre, London), Cambridge Summer Music (UK), Basically Bach (New York), Festival Barocco (Rome), Closer to Bach (Gdansk), 31 Days of Organ Music (Krakow), Dark Days Music Festival (Reykjavik), Dundee Summer Festival (Scotland), Cardiff Festival (Wales), Welsh Arts Festival (San Francisco), Orgue et Couleurs (Montreal) and the Göteborg International Organ Academy, Sweden.
Dr. Quinn's choral and organ works are published by Church Music Publishing, Encore Publications, GIA Music, and Paraclete Press. He has recorded fifteen CDs as an organist or conductor that are available on the Chandos, Guild, Hyperion, Naxos, Raven, and Regent labels. His most recent recordings include the Complete Organ Sonatas of C.P.E. Bach recorded at Princeton Theological Seminary (Naxos); The Enlightenment Influence, works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Hummel recorded at Trinity College, Cambridge University (Regent); Twentieth-Century Masterworks, Hindemith organ sonatas and works of Heiller, Pärt, and Shostakovich recorded at Pacific Lutheran University (Guild); Haydn Organ Concertos with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo (Chandos). The choir and organists of Selwyn College have recorded a CD of his organ and choral works, The Garment of Holiness (Regent), and the Harvard University Choir have recorded his anthem Save us, good Lord (Harvard). His compositions have frequently been featured on BBC broadcasts including a televised performance of his anthem Christus est stella with the Durham University Chamber Choir on Songs of Praise. This episode examined the life of the Venerable Bede and was specifically filmed on The Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
Dr. Quinn is the principal faculty advisor for the installation of the Rockwood Organ in Opperman Music Hall to be built by Paul Fritts & Co. Organ Builders of Tacoma, Washington.
FSU Professor Earns Prestigious Research Fellowship