Bearsden music director performs organ tribute to David Bowie

Christopher Nickol
Christopher Nickol

The organist who made the headlines yesterday by playing David Bowie on the organ at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow is a Bearsden music director.

Video footage of Christopher Nickol performing a rendition of Life on Mars in honour of the music legend who died on Sunday went viral yesterday.

Many members of the audience described it as a ‘spine-tingling’ moment which moved them to tears.

Christopher Nickol, a regular recitalist at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, has been the director of music at New Kilpatrick Church in Bearsden since 1993, where he directs two adult choirs, a children’s choir and an instrumental group.

He said: “I can’t believe the video got over a million and a half hits it’s incredible!

“I remember Life On Mars when it was in the charts in the early 70s as I used to listen to Pick of the Pops.

“David Bowie was the lead story all day so I thought it was appropriate to play some of his music.

“I never imagined it would attract this much attention.”

Mr Nickol has performed as an accompanist and soloist with many of Scotland’s major choirs and orchestras, including Bearsden Choir, the BBC SSO, Cappella Nova, the RSNO and RSNO Chorus.

He has also given organ recitals throughout the UK, Europe and the USA; has broadcast on BBC radio and TV, and has recorded four CDs for Priory Records.

He was born in Cambridge and was a music scholar at Ampleforth College. He was also organ scholar at Royal Holloway College, University of London.