Richard Perrignon is the Master of Sacred Music at the College of St John the Evangelist within the University of Sydney, Australia.
Born in Sydney, the composer studied piano, violin and classical organ under Helen Maloney, entering the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music as as teenager on violin scholarship under the late Eva Kelly of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He later studied violin under the late Dorel Tincu of the Sydney String Quartet, and classical organ under the Principal Organist of Sydney University, Norman Johnston. From Noumea, Johnston was a pupil of the blind French organist, Marchal, at St Eustache in Paris. He introduced the composer to the French romantic school of organ repertoire, and to early organ and harpsichord fingering techniques. From an early age, the composer had sung as a chorister under the direction of Professor David Branagan of Sydney University, and learned from him the art of choral directing and the repertoire of sacred polyphony. He later sang with Sydney recording ensemble, St Gregory Chorale, in Sydney, which recorded for the ABC, and performed at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney.
While studying at Sydney University, the composer was appointed as organist to the Blessed Sacrament Fathers at St Peter Julian's Church in the city of Sydney, where he played for 16 years. From 1998 to 2006, he served as Director of Music of the former Dominican Priory at Wahroonga, Sydney - a church on Sydney's North Shore with a long choral tradition. In 2001 he founded the Australian vocal ensemble, Capella sublima, at St John's College within the University of Sydney. The Capella has recorded for ABC radio, and sings at major public and private events. He remains the artistic director of the Capella.
He was elected a Fellow of St. John's College from 2005 to 2011, and was appointed its Master of Sacred Music in 2008. In 2017, he took up a post as organist at the Church of Mary Immaculate, Manly, where he plays a Danish neo-baroque instrument built by Knud Smenge in 1986. He remains the Master of Sacred Music at St John's College.
He has composed sacred music for many years, and continues to do so at the College.
The three Gloria's below were written at the request of the Dominican Order in Australia for Vespers at the University of Sydney, said by the Primate of Australia, Cardinal Schonborn OP, during World Youth Day Week in July 2008. They were performed by Capella sublima. The Fisher Amen was written in honour of Bishop Anthony Fisher OP (now, Archbishop of Sydney), who co-ordinated World Youth Day Week that year. It was performed for the Pope at Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on the Thursday of that week.
The setting of the psalms for weekly use has always interested the composer, and from time to time he publishes settings of the current psalm for the week on CPDL, sometimes set for choir, and sometimes for soloists. He also writes music for organ.
List of choral works
- Chorale prelude, 'By your Priestly Power'
- Chorale prelude, By your kingly power
- Fisher Amen
- Gloria no. 1
- Gloria no. 2
- Gloria no. 3
- Mass of St John the Evangelist
- Psalm 34: I shall ever bless the Lord
- Psalm 39, I waited for the Lord
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