Sometime performing arts and cathedral administrator, for the past ten years Stephen Wikner has been an Oblate of the Order of St Benedict at the Abbey of Our Lady and St John, Alton, Hants. Born in Egypt in the reign of King Farouk, he lived in Germany (during the chancellorship of Konrad Adenauer) and Malta (while Dom Mintoff was prime minister) before becoming a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral (during the latter years of the 'Red Dean', Hewlett Johnson). Having trained as a musician at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, New York he played for six years as an orchestral violinist. From 1979 he successively managed the Scottish Baroque Ensemble, the London Mozart Players and (from 1987) the South African National Orchestra before becoming Artistic Director of the Transvaal Philharmonic and Natal Philharmonic Orchestras. In 1994 he managed elements of the presidential inauguration ceremonies of Nelson Mandela. Having completed his novitiate at Alton Abbey, in 2001 Stephen Wikner was appointed Bursar at Ely Cathedral where he remained for five years. He returns to Alton Abbey at the end of June 2007.