Peter Jaekel, CEFC principal accompanist

Enlarge Image Peter Jaekel
Peter Jaekel

Born in Gloucester, Peter Jaekel entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1985 where he studied piano accompaniment with Geoffrey Pratley and David Willison, and organ with John Scott. For seven years he was chapel organist at Bradfield College, Berkshire.

Since 1997, he has been a freelance organist and piano accompanist. He is a deputy accompanist to the London Symphony Chorus, where he has worked with some of the world’s finest conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Harding and Yan Pascal Tortelier. He is repetiteur to North Herts Guild of Singers, accompanist to Hertford Choral Society, and regularly plays for other choirs in the South-east including Brighton Festival Chorus. He has been organist of St Paul’s, Knightsbridge since 2000 and performs as pianist with the Ben Sanders Scottish Country Dance Band throughout Britain and abroad.

Peter is in huge demand as a piano accompanist, most recently accompanying the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and the saxophonist John Harle. He is also much sought after as a vocal coach for contemporary music; recent repertoire includes operas by Sir Michael Tippett, Jonathan Dove, Stephen McNeff and Tansy Davies. He is principal repetiteur for Eastern Opera and has also worked for European Chamber Opera.

Recent engagements have included performances of Handel Organ Concerti and the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, and he has appeared at the Swaledale, Ryedale, Brighton and Deal Festivals. His work has taken him to France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Norway, Hong Kong and New York. Future plans include tours of Spain, Belgium and Holland.

Paul Ayres, CEFC associate accompanist

Enlarge Image Paul Ayres
Paul Ayres

Paul Ayres was born in London, studied music at Oxford University, and now works freelance as a composer & arranger, choral conductor & music director, and organist & accompanist.

His works have been awarded prizes in composition competitions in Canada, Croatia, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Paul is a prolific arranger, and has also “re-composed” classical works by Handel, Fauré and Purcell (Messyah, 4A Wreck and Purcell’s Funeral Sentence). Commissions for 2016 include: The Singers (Association of Music in International Schools, Luxembourg), O laud the Lord (Savannah River Winds, Georgia), an arrangement of It’s Raining Men (Les Sirènes, Glasgow), The quality of mercy (Badger State Girl Choir, Wisconsin), Prelude on Du laesst den Tag (Carus Music Publishers, Germany), Storm and Tide (St Peter-ad-Vincula, Roydon) and an arrangement of None of the Above (London Humanist Choir).

As an organist, Paul has particularly enjoyed creating classical transcriptions, arrangements and adaptations of popular titles (Whiter Shade of Pale, Mission Impossible, Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Variations on a theme of Paganini, Beatles tunes and Happy Hardcore tracks), many of which will feature on a new CD to be released by Priory Records in autumn 2016.

Paul is the regular conductor of City Chorus and the choirs at London College of Music (University of West London), accompanist of Concordia Voices, and associate accompanist of Crouch End Festival Chorus. He has led many music education workshops for children, and played piano for improvised comedy shows and musical theatre. Please visit to find out more.