Philip Moore was born in 1943 and educated at the Royal College of Music in London. Here he won the Walford Davies Prize for Organ Playing and the Limpus, Turpin, and Read Prizes in the Royal College of Organists’ exams. He holds a BMus degree from the University of Durham, and more recently was awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians, and the Academy of St Cecilia for his services to Church Music. In 2008, the Archbishop of York awarded him the Order of St William, and in 2016 the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded him the Cranmer Award for Worship ‘for his contribution to the English choral tradition as a composer, arranger, and performer’.
After graduation from the RCM he taught for three years at Eton College, moving to Canterbury Cathedral in 1968 as Assistant Organist to Dr Allan Wicks. In 1974 he succeeded Dr Barry Rose as Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral.
In 1983 Philip Moore became Organist and Master of the Music at York Minster, succeeding Dr Francis Jackson who had occupied the post since 1946.
He retired from the Minster in the summer of 2008 and was appointed Organist Emeritus. He now gives organ recitals across the country, and continues to conduct his choirs in and around York, also giving workshops in the UK and in the USA. Between July 2015 and 2017 he served for two years as President of the Royal College of Organists.
As a composer, he has written extensively, primarily music for choir and organ, but also music for chamber ensembles His larger-scale works include three cantatas as well as a concerto for organ and orchestra. He has over 400 titles of music for the Church, including carols, anthems, and liturgical music. His music is published by major houses including Oxford University Press, Banks Music Publications, Boosey & Hawkes, Faber Music, and Encore Publications.
Recent commissions include The King and the Robin for Westminster Abbey to words by the former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and Thou mastering me, God for the Friends of Salisbury Cathedral. In 2007 he wrote As the Father has loved me for the Royal Maundy Service in Manchester Cathedral and since then has written anthems for the Exultate Singers, the Ebor Singers and the Exon Singers, and sets of Alternative and Evening Canticles for Chelmsford Cathedral, Derby Cathedral, and St John’s College, Oxford. His anthem All wisdom cometh from the Lord has been broadcast frequently and in 2008 his setting of Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer was sung in York Minster on three separate occasions by three different choirs. He has made several critically-acclaimed recordings as an organist and as a choir director in the UK and USA. In 2019 he was commissioned to write a new carol for the annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast from King’s College, Cambridge. He wrote a setting of The Angel Gabriel which is published by Encore Publications. He frequently writes for the choirs of Christ Church, Greenwich, CT, for whom he is an associate organist.