Stuart Forster is the Associate for Liturgy and Music at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, Florida. This appointment began in 2020, following 21 years as Director of Music and Organist at Christ Church, the Episcopal Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His performances as soloist, accompanist, and conductor have been broadcast around the world, and he has recorded numerous CDs, including solo performances on the JAV and Pro Organo labels; his newest CD Love so amazing: the hymn arrangements of Stuart Forster immediately became an Amazon Best Seller. His book, Hymn Playing: A Modern Colloquium, draws on interviews with leading church musicians to document expert techniques of hymn leadership and accompaniment with the organ. Dr. Forster has written orchestral transcriptions for the organ, liturgical music for congregations (including more than 120 hymn arrangements), organ music, and choral anthems. His landmark organ transcription of Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, “From the New World,” has been recorded, published by Éditions Chantraine, and is frequently performed. Forster’s work has also been published by Selah Publishing, Paraclete Press, MorningStar Music Publishers, and St. James Music Press.
Dr. Forster holds qualifications from Trinity College of Music (London), the University of Sydney, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Yale University, and the Graduate Theological Foundation, where his doctorate focused on the congregation’s experience of flow and music within liturgy. A dedicated organist and choir trainer, Dr. Forster’s passion for leading congregational singing has guided his vocation both in the church and as a teacher. Details of his compositions, performances, recordings, and book may be found at www.StuartAForster.com.