International background of Ripon Cathedral’s new Director of Music
Written by Tony Whiting.
Bavarian-born Ronny Krippner, who has worked in Germany and Wales and won organ competition prizes in Biarritz, has been appointed as Ripon Cathedral’s new Director of Music.
Ronny is currently organist and Director of Choral Music at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School in South Croydon. He is also Specialist Tutor of Organ Improvisation at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London.
Under Ronny’s direction the choir at Croydon has recorded CDs, sung in cathedrals around the country and broadcast on BBC1 (Midnight Mass), BBC Radio 3 (choral evensongs) and BBC Radio 4 (Morning Service).
He will remain at Croydon until Christmas seeing through the resumption of choral music during its emergence from lockdown and take over from Ripon Cathedral’s interim Director of Music, Peter Wright, in January.
Ronny said: “I am absolutely delighted with this appointment. Ripon Cathedral Choir has an excellent reputation and I look forward to building on the work of my predecessors, taking the choir into the next stage of its life.”
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend John Dobson, commented: “Ronny’s appointment represents an exciting development which rewards the Chapter’s commitment to sustaining and developing its choral tradition. It promises to be the beginning of a new and pleasing chapter in the long history of singing God’s praises in this place, a tradition which goes back to the seventh century.”
He will work closely with the cathedral’s Precentor, Canon Michael Gisbourne, who said: “Ronny is a highly accomplished musician and was the unanimous choice of the appointing panel. He will bring his experience of working in many church music contexts. We can look forward with confidence as we build on our reputation of musical excellence.”
Earlier in his career Ronny studied organ playing and improvisation with Professor Franz Josef Stoiber at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Regensburg, working as Assistant Choirmaster of the cathedral’s famous boys’ choir. After graduating, he went to Exeter University to take a master’s degree in English Cathedral Music whilst singing in the cathedral choir as a choral scholar.
After working at Newport Cathedral in Wales, Ronny moved to London where he became Organist and Teacher of Music at King’s College School, Wimbledon. In addition he was Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Church, Hanover Square, which has a professional choir and holds the annual Handel Festival.
He was a finalist in the prestigious organ improvisation competition in St Albans in 2009 and won two prizes in the international organ improvisation competition in Biarritz in the same year. The DVD ‘Ex Tempore – The Art of Organ Improvisation in England’, featuring improvisations by Ronny, has received high critical acclaim. In 2019 he was awarded a PhD by Birmingham City University for a thesis on Anglican organ improvisation in British cathedrals.