Choir & Organ, cover from current issue

November/December 2015 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.

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

Latest News

November/December issue out now!

3 November 2015

Choir & Organ speaks to Danish composer Bent Sørensen who made his choral mark by combining his music with 500-year-old works by Ockeghem; tributes to John Scott, the great organist and choirmaster; Juget-Sinclair’s new organ brings a twist of Gallic colour to a Dallas church; and, as many choirs are gearing up for an annual performance of Messiah, a new exhibition sheds light on the composer’s friends. Plus, discover the flair of Orgelmakerij Reil as we visit their latest instrument in Bodegraven; how Houston Chamber Choir has invigorated musical life in the city for 25 years; Rebecca Tavener surveys the trying circumstances surrounding the composition of major Christmas works by Tallis and Schütz; conductor David Hill suggests ways of catching the essence of prayer in Bruckner motets; report from our composing for organ workshop with Judith Weir and Thomas Trotter; obituaries for Martin Goetze and Sir David Willcocks; and our global directory of choral conducting, church music and organ courses.

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Trailblazing organ builder Peter Collins dies

26 October 2015

Peter Collins's last organ, for the 2015 St Albans International Organ Festival
Peter Collins's last organ, for the 2015 St Albans International Organ FestivalStephen Boffey

British organ builder Peter Collins died on 24 October, after a short illness.   

Collins established his own organ building firm in 1964, and over a period of 50 years brought an individual – and sometimes maverick – approach to his craft, pushing boundaries and sometimes courting controversy. 

As an apprentice, Collins trained first with Bishops (London) and then Rieger (Austria) in the early days of the Orgelbewegung, the impact of which encouraged him to build neo-Classical instruments with mechanical action. From initial box and chamber organs, Collins developed and expanded his business in the UK – notably for St David's Hall, Cardiff, and St Peter Mancroft, Norwich – and abroad, with an organ for Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia; in the late 1990s, he collaborated with Allen Organs in building a hybrid instrument for Trönö Church in Sweden, a move which generated much criticism in the organ building world but which Collins continued to defend. A new mechanical action instrument for the 2015 St Albans International Organ Festival – Collins had already built the Festival's own Silbermann-inspired organ in 1989 – was to prove his last opus. 

A tribute to Peter Collins's life and work will be published in the January/February 2016 issue of Choir & Organ; his family are planning a Memorial Concert and wish to raise money for the LOROS Hospice and Cancer Research.  www.petercollinsltd.com

Winners of 'A Carol for Christmas' 2015 announced

24 November 2015

Jo Nicholls, Toby Hession, Benedict Heneghan and Clive Smith have been named the winners of the 2015 'A Carol for Christmas' competition.

They won the categories for community choir; SATB choir (composers aged 18 or under); SATB choir (composers aged 19 or over); and The King's Singers respectively.

Both Heneghan and Smith set 'I Saw Three Ships', while Hession chose 'Videntes Stellam' and Nicholls 'Christmas Bells'.

The carols by Nicholls, Hession and Heneghan will be performed by King's Junior Voices, Inner Voices and Quay Voices in King's College Chapel, Cambridge on 4 December, and the King's Singers will present their winning carol in concert that evening.

The winners were chosen by a panel comprising Stephen Cleobury, John Rutter, Richard Causton and Christopher Gabbitas.

Cleobury said: 'For our second competition here at King’s we found no diminution in the quality or quantity of entries submitted, and there were a number of excellent compositions. We can confidently look forward to enjoying the works of the winners.'

The competition is run by Music Productions on behalf of the King's Singers, King's College, Cambridge and Woodfines Solicitors in association with Edition Peters and Classic FM. Owain Park won the inaugural competition, which took place in 2012. 

A Carol for Christmas

Organ recital: Michael Wynne

20 November 2015

Michael Wynne
Michael Wynne

Michael Wynne will give his inaugural recital as the University of Lancaster's university organist in Lancaster Arts' Great Hall at 7.30 pm on 26 November.

Wynne will also offer the audience a chance to inspect and try the instrument during an interactive pre-concert talk (starting 6.45pm).

The programme will be:
M. Bergmann: Magnificat II toni
Sweelinck: Ricercar del nono tono
JS Bach: Komm, heiliger Geist
Purcell: A Voluntary‘for ye double organ’
Böhm: Partita: Freu dich sehr meine Seele
Krebs: Toccata and Fugue in E major

Wynne is also director of music at St Mary's Priory, Warrington, and is the founder and director of Warrington Choral Society. He writes for Church Music Quarterly and is a member of the Royal College of Organists.

Wynne studied organ with Ian Tracey, Susan Landale, David Titterington and Patrick Russill; improvisation with David Briggs and Olivier Latry; and conducting with Fraser Goulding and Vernon Handley. He has played in masterclasses with Jacques van Oortmerssen, Gillian Weir, Naji Hakim and Daniel Roth.

Tickets start from £9.

Michael Wynne: organ recital

Organ masterclass: Stephen Cleobury

20 November 2015

Stephen Cleobury will be leading an organ masterclass in the chapel of King's College, Cambridge from 6.30-9.30pm on 25 November.

Stephen Cleobury will work with organ scholars from Cambridge University on English organ music, focusing on repertoire by Howells. There will be an audio-visual link from the loft for observers to watch from the chapel.

Some admission may be available on the evening at the college but applications to observe should be made to Andrew Johnson. Tickets for observers cost £20 (£5 for full time students).

King's College Chapel

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