Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

September/October 2015 on sale from 28 August

Choir & Organ is the leading independent magazine for all professionals and amateurs in the choral and organ worlds – whether you are an organist, choral director or singer, organ builder, keen listener, or work in publishing or the record industry, Choir & Organ is a must-read wherever you live and work.

Every two months our expert contributors bring you beautifully illustrated features on newly built and restored organs, insights into the lives and views of leading organists, choral directors and composers, profiles of pioneering and well-established choirs, and topical coverage of new research, festivals and exhibitions. In keeping with our commitment to music at the cutting edge, we commission a new work from a young composer in every issue, making the score freely available for download and performance.

Our international news and previews, with breaking stories, key awards and forthcoming premieres, combine with reviews of the latest CDs, DVDs and sheet music, and listings of recitals, festivals and courses, to keep you up to date with events and developments around the world.

The Neoclassical Organ and the Great Aristide Cavaillé-Coll Organ of Saint-Sulpice, Paris


Maggie Hamilton, editor Choir & Organ

Maggie Hamilton - Editor
From the current issue of Choir & Organ


James O’Donnell’s sterling rendition of the Poulenc concerto at the Proms reminded me again of how fortunate we are to have the BBC, not only in promoting the annual concert series, but also in enabling us to hear each performance live on Radio 3, or later on iPlayer – what an incredible privilege.

In today’s high-tech age, it’s easy to forget that it is only just over 100 years since Marconi made the first Trans-Atlantic transmission. Some 20 years later, Britain’s first live public broadcast – of Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba – went out from the inventor’s factory in Chelmsford, and the British Broadcasting Corporation was established by Royal Charter in 1926. Since then, the Beeb has developed an extraordinary breadth of quality radio and television fare, informing, educating and entertaining people around the world and enabling them to feel a sense of belonging, and of being stakeholders in a unique institution.

With independence comes objective reportage, and inevitable attempts to rein it in when government perceives it as critical – the latest Green Paper is set to radically weaken the Corporation (Freestyle, p.33). The BBC is no more above criticism than any other large structure (governments included); but there is more than a whiff of diversionary tactics and vested interest in the current attack against it. And when I read that the Telegraph has claimed the BBC is ‘failing its licence payers’ by not televising every single Prom, it’s clear that some rational thinking is needed…

Having travelled in countries where all radio and TV channels are either state-owned or run commercially, I am aware of just how valuable an independent broadcasting company is, free from establishment cant on the one hand and aggressive advertising on the other. It is not ‘just another broadcasting network’: it is a vital public service and we need to ensure it can continue to operate. 

As we go to press, the dreadful news has arrived of the untimely death of John Scott on 12 August, and our deepest sympathy goes out to his widow, Lily, and their extended family. Having heard the vitality of John’s recital at the Three Choirs Festival less than a fortnight beforehand, it is hard to realise that this gigantic talent – and the modest person who encapsulated it – is no longer with us. The outpouring on social media in the aftermath of his death shows how loved and respected he was, as people around the world share personal memories and photographs. I was privileged to interview him last year when he inaugurated the new Dobson organ at Merton College, Oxford (video on the C&O website) – and we must be grateful that he remains with us through recordings and his legacy of teaching and choir direction, as well as in our hearts. Rest in peace, John, and thank you.

In The Next Issue of Choir & Organ: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE On sale from 28 August


Explore the choral works of the award-winning Danish composer of Fragments of Requiem. PEACE ON EARTH?Telling the Christmas story in music during times of strife. 

The new Juget-Sinclair organ for Christ the King, Dallas, is the Canadian company’s largest commission so far. 

How has Houston Chamber Choir developed in 20 years? 

A profile of the work of Dutch organ builders Reil. 

Ellen T. Harris shares her fascinating research on the company kept by the composer of Messiah. 

News, reviews, On Course supplement, and much more.

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