Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

January/February 2016 issue on sale now

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

Pull Out All The Stops


Annfield Plain Junior school in Durham and Telferscot Juniors in Lambeth have teamed up with Southbank Centre to help document the whole organ restoration process. The two schools have explored  the mysteries of the crafts at Harrison &Harrison workshop in Durham, watched the first and last pipes arriving back at the  Royal Festival Hall and  helped us to create work that will inspire more children to come and see explore the 7866 pipes here at Southbank Centre!

The children have created their own guide to the organ including the many animals that they believe may be lurking inside! Made films  to explain how it works and  also designed a DIY Organ kit which will feature in our festival. Look out for their webpage where you can explore their Top Of The Stops top 10 with organ reviews and some activities to make and do at home or in the classroom.  

Lambeth Families and Wondrous Machines

Southbank Centre has commissioned 4 musical instrument sculptors to make 4 new instruments inspired by the RFH organ in collaboration with Lambeth family groups. Pete Flood and Andy Mellon, musicians from Bellowhead are writing a new commission for the instruments which will be performed in our opening weekend with 7 members of Bellowhead playing with them.

Breathing of the Bellows

SC has commissioned 10 emerging poets to come and be inspired by our Royal Festival Hall Organ. Their new work will form part of our exhibition and they will also perform a second piece in our Pipes V Mics concert on the 30th of March in the RFH.

Call for Memories

Southbank Centre wants to hear from you if you have an organ story to tell, whether it’s romantic, funny, or all about the music.

Do you have a fond memory of the Royal Festival Hall organ itself, or an organ in your local church, theatre or even grandma’s front room?  We are documenting this extraordinary instrument through the personal memories of music-lovers across the country and would love to hear your memory.

Please tell us your stories by emailing organmemories@southbankcentre.co.uk or calling our voicemail on 020 7082 8058.

King of Instruments
Clore Ballroom
18 March – 13 April
10.30am-9pm daily

The Royal Festival Organ has spent the last 3 years being restored to its full glory.  To celebrate its return home we have created an interactive exhibition drawing together historic artefacts, curiosities, and magical mechanical machines.  Explore the contributions of young poets, musicians, families and schoolchildren who show you the journey of our pipe organ from production to performance.

Find out how this King of Instruments with its 7,866 pipes, bellows and windchambers of many sizes creates its magnificent sound. Marvel at the scale and beauty of this splendid beast. Wonder at the many stories and memories behind the scenes and hear how Ralph Downes the designer, despite the critics of the time, created an instrument which influenced the future of organ music across the globe.

Free Events and Festival Weekends

Find out about upcoming 2014 Free Events and Festival weekends.

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