Director, COfO

Ann Elise Smoot took up her current role as Director of Creative Oundle for Organists in 2014.

After completing two degrees at Yale, where she won several prizes for scholarship and for organ playing, she moved to England, where she studied organ and harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music, and privately with Peter Hurford and Dame Gillian Weir. Success in two major competitions (third prize at St Albans in 1997 and First prize in the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in 1999) were instrumental in launching her career. Three critically acclaimed recordings have been issued by the JAV label.

Education has always been a major part of Ann Elise’s career, and, for the moment, is where her professional focus lies. In London, in the early part of her career, Ann Elise combined a busy private teaching practice (as part of the St Giles International Organ School) with directing the Junior Organ Conservatoire of London, a unique and highly successful programme of masterclasses for young organists. She also was Head of Organ at Trinity Laban Conservatoire from 2011-2013, and co-founded the London Organ Forum, a study day which examined organ repertoire in its wider cultural context. From 2011-2015 she was Education Editor at The Organists’ Review magazine, and has contributed several articles as a freelance writer to other publications such a Music Teacher Magazine, Classical Music, and Choir and Organ. She is frequently in demand for classes and education events all over the UK, and is an examiner for the Royal College of Organists.