Ruaraidh Sutherland received his early musical education at Wellington School in Ayr, and the Junior Academy of the RSAMD in Glasgow. He read music at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in 2006 and the major academic and performance prizes (including the prestigious Tovey Performance Prize and the Niekes Essay Prize). Whilst a student, Ruaraidh was organ scholar at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral (where he also spent a period of time as acting-Assistant Organist) and here he made his initial forays into choral direction by bringing friends together to sing late-night concerts during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Following a spell on the staff of Sherborne School, Ruaraidh moved to Warwick as Assistant Director of Music at the Collegiate Church of St Mary and instrumental teacher at Warwick School. In 2011, Ruaraidh was called ‘across the pond’ to be Director of Music at Christ’s Church, Rye NY, an historic Episcopal foundation with a long tradition of choral music. The choir of choristers and adults was well-regarded: they sang at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York for Sunday and Diocesan services, and in 2018 the choir also undertook their second tour to the UK singing services St George’s, Windsor, St Mary’s, Rye, and Truro Cathedral. Ruaraidh sang with both the Garby Group (an NYC barbershop collective) and the New Choral Society.
Ruaraidh returned to the UK in 2019 as Organist at Christ’s Hospital where he takes a full part in the busy life of the school and is fortunate to preside over four historic pipe organs. A Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, his teachers have included Margaret Phillips and Andrew Fletcher. Ruaraidh enjoys giving recitals when times permits, including recently the Cathedral of St John the Divine, NYC; the Church of St Mary the Virgin, NYC; the Cathedral of All Saints, Albany, NY; Grace Church, White Plains; and Our Lady of Walsingham, Houston, TX. Next year, he will give the inaugural recital on a new Walker/Peragallo combination digital/pipe instrument in the USA, as well as several concerts in Scotland.
Ruaraidh took over the reins of Musical Director of CHCS from Alex Hodgkinson in 2020.