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Organ Festival launches in April after two year delay

by Michael Ford last modified 02 Mar, 2022 04:23 PM

After a two year delay due to the pandemic, tickets for Salisbury Cathedral’s 2022 Organ Festival are now on sale.

Seven evening concerts will showcase the famous Father Willis organ, given by some of the country’s best known organists and cathedral musicians, alongside a Sunday Organ Music series and a transcription for organ of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

Originally planned to celebrate the return of Father Willis after a year-long programme of restoration and to mark the 800th Anniversary of the laying of the Cathedral’s first foundation stone, the festival launches on 30 April with a concert given by internationally-acclaimed concert organist Thomas Trotter. Thomas performs a dazzling programme of works by Bach, Duruflé, Gardner, Mozart, Volans, and the thrilling Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue by Healey Willan.

Continuing the stellar line-up, on Saturday 21 May Colin Walsh, an organist renowned for his virtuosity, flair and interpretation of the French organ repertoire, returns to the Cathedral (Colin was Assistant Organist at Salisbury between 1978 and 1985) to perform a programme of works by Franck, Langlais, Saint-Saëns, Tournemire and Vierne. The programme also features the Introduction and Passacaglia by Sir Walter Alcock, another former Salisbury Cathedral organist.

Concerts in June and July are given by leading women organists: choral director, performer and composer Katherine Dienes is Organist and Master of the Choristers at Guildford Cathedral and Anna Lapwood, whose wide-ranging musical career has already seen performances across Europe, and countless appearances on television and radio, is Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In 2019 Anna opened the BAFTA TV awards on the organ of the Royal Festival Hall, and in 2021 she made her BBC Proms debut as soloist in Saint-Saëns ‘Organ’ Symphony with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

August sees the joyous return of the popular Organ Prom – a thrilling evening of your favourite classics and film scores played by Salisbury Cathedral’s home team: David Halls, John Challenger and Samuel Bristow. Buy a glass of Pimm’s and bask in the sounds of the Father Willis organ in an informal atmosphere. This event was a sell-out in 2019, so buy your tickets early.

September’s concert is given by Richard Pinel, an organist known in both the UK and the United States. Richard has enjoyed international competition success with his organ playing, and he is currently Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and Director of the Edington Festival.

The final concert in October is given by David Briggs, and features works by Franck, Schmidt and Ravel. There’s also a rare chance to hear one of David’s legendary improvisations live in Salisbury Cathedral.

Book tickets here.

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