Organ compositions announced
4 August 2015
Master of the Queen’s Music Dame Judith Weir CBE and Thomas Trotter have announced the pieces that they have chosen for the Choir & Organ Composition Workshop for Organ on 10 September, held in partnership with the Royal College of Organists.
The workshop – which is free of charge, and is open to composers and observers alike – will provide a unique insight into composition techniques for the organ, drawing on seven of the 17 scores submitted by composers of all ages.
The pieces to be workshopped are:
- Ben Comeau: Cordes à tension
- Rob Crehan: Hymn to the Martyr
- Andrew Kirk: Ostinato 45
- David Loxley-Blount: Limadie meets London
- Miriam Mackie: Kept Burning
- Christian Morris: Warum sollt ich
- Elizabeth Winters: Evening Voluntary
Dame Judith commented: ‘We have received an interesting and varied group of scores, some by composers already known to the new music community, others not yet so well-known (to me at least!). In almost every case the music has been well-presented and literate. Composers vary about how many organ-specific details and registrations they include in the score – this will, I’m sure, be a discussion point in the workshop – but most seem to have imagined the geography of the instrument well, even if they aren’t organists.’
The workshop takes place on Thursday 10 September at 2-5pm, on the new Richards, Fowkes organ in St George’s, Hanover Square, London W1S 1FX. Sign up for a free ticket here.
Chosen scores for our Choral Composition Workshop on 1 September (with Judith Weir and the BBC Singers) will be announced in due course. Free tickets to the choral workshop can be reserved here.
Choir & Organ visits Merton College, Oxford's Dobson organ
28 July 2015
In this new short-form documentary produced by Rhinegold Publishing, Maggie Hamilton travels to Merton College, Oxford, to discuss the 2013 Dobson organ with organist John Scott, and organ builders Lynn Dobson and John Panning.
Dobson and Panning explain how the organ was built to match its surrounding, and Scott demonstrates its touch and registration.
The documentary was filmed on Saturday 26 April 2014, before the inaugural recital was given by John Scott.
- Maggie Hamilton, editor of Choir & Organ magazine
- John Scott, former organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and current organist and director of music of Saint Thomas, Fifth Avenue, New York
- Lynn Dobson, president and artistic director of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders
- John Panning, tonal director of Dobson Pipe Organ Builders
With special thanks to Benjamin Nicholas, director of music at Merton College, Oxford.
You can read more about the Merton College organ in the March/April 2014 issue of Choir & Organ magazine:
Rob Elliott announced as new director of Cornwall choral festival
20 July 2015, Rebecca Morton
Rob Elliott has been announced as the new director of Cornwall’s International Male Voice Choral Festival, following the retirement of Peter Davies, who held the post for nine years. Elliot will lead the eighth biennial festival in 2017, which encompasses workshops, concerts and tuition for directors and singers in venues across Cornwall.
St Albans winners
20 July 2015
Johannes Zeinler, 1st Prize and Gold Medal winner, Interpretation
David Cassan, Tournemire Prize winner, Improvisation
The competitions at St Albans International Organ Festival finished with a flourish on Friday, with two competitors in the morning’s Improvisation final, and four in the Interpretation final in the evening.
Coming from Germany and France respectively, Lukas Grimm and David Cassan both gave convincing performances of Tournemire’s Improvisation sur le Te Deum (as transcribed by Duruflé) before improvising three movements in symphonic style on the plainchant Ave Maris Stella and two themes by Piet Kee. David Cassan took the Tournemire Prize with his impressively integrated performance.
The four Interpretation finalists – Johannes Zeinler (Austria), Michal Kocot (Poland), Zita Nauratyill (Hungary) and Davide Mariano (Italy) – each peformed a Handel organ concerto with the Orchester Wiener Akademie, directed by founder-director (and jury member) Martin Haselböck, before completing their programmes with a free choice of works by J.S. Bach and other composers. Each performer shone in different ways, but the overall winner and gold medallist was Johannes Zeinler, with Davide Mariano taking the second prize (sponsored by Choir & Organ's parent company, Rhinegold Publishing).
The winners of the other awards were:
- Peter Hurford Bach Prize: Davide Mariano
- Audience Prize: Zita Nauratyill
- Paul Patterson Prize for the best performance of the commissioned work, Paul Patterson’s Volcano: Zita Nauratyill
- Douglas May Award: Thomas Gaynor, from New Zealand
4.5% of Europe involved in choral singing
10 July 2015, Katy Wright
A study by the Voice Project has found that 4.5% of Europe’s population are actively engaged in choral singing. Singing Europe discovered that 37 million people are involved in about 1 million choirs or vocal ensembles.