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

Latest News

2015 British Composer Awards shortlist announced

29 October 2015

James Dillon
James DillonSimon Jay Price

The shortlist for the 2015 British Composer Awards has been announced.

It comprises 33 composers across 12 categories, including sonic art, orchestral, and community or educational project, with 40% of those shortlisted being first-time nominees.

The 36 shortlisted works include a choral piece inspired by the rhythm of skateboarders, a science fiction opera, and work marking the centenary of the first world war.

The shortlists for the choral and liturgical categories are as follows:

Papaver by Dai Fujikura
Stabat Mater dolorosa by James Dillon
St Luke Passion by James MacMillan

John the Baptist by Michael Finnissy
Little Mass by James MacMillan
Salve Regina by Kerry Andrew

Samuel Bordoli, whose work GRIND has been shortlisted for a community award, will be featured as the New Music composer in the March/April 2016 issue of C&O.

BASCA chairman Stephen McNeff said: ‘This year’s British Composer Awards sees us reaping the benefits of our new digital application process and a wonderful 33% rise in submissions. This means that the range and depth of submissions is enriched and we are reaching out across our profession to present a shortlist that reflects a wider, truer and more diverse picture of contemporary classical and jazz than ever before.’

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: ‘The UK’s contemporary music scene is thrilling. This shortlist shows what a remarkable year it has been. As the most significant commissioner of new music, BBC Radio 3 is dedicated to bringing our millions of listeners the very latest high quality contemporary composition. We wish the shortlisted composers the very best of luck and look forward to broadcasting the awards on Radio 3’s Hear and Now in December.’

The winners in each category will be announced at the British Film Institute (BFI) on 9 December. 

British Composer Awards

NYCGB receive PRS award

29 October 2015

Kerry Andrew
Kerry AndrewMorag Galloway

The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain have become the latest recipients of PRS for Music Foundation's David Bedford Music Education Award.

The NYCGB were selected for their New Music Programme’s upcoming commissions from three young British composers (supported by a grant from the PRS For Music Foundation).

The three works - by Vikki Stone, Kerry Andrew and James Rose - are intended to challenge and capture the imagination of NYCGB’s members, aged 9-25 across five constituent choirs. The pieces will be premiered at the Royal Albert Hall on 10 April 2016 as part of a festival programme celebrating British choral music, with subsequent performances scheduled for venues across the UK, China and Hong Kong.

NYCGB director Ben Parry said: 'NYCGB’s New Music Programme aims to create new works that challenge and inspire our young singers whilst increasing the scope of choral music to engage a wider audience. We are delighted that our collaboration with three highly individual young British composers has been recognised by the PRS for Music Foundation and are honoured to receive the David Bedford Music Education Award.'

The David Bedford Music Education Award is given four times a year by PRS for Music Foundation to education projects involving composers and new music which they have funded. This will be the second time NYCGB has received the award: their first was in 2014 for a project with beatboxer Shlomo which resulted in the new work, ‘She Lost My Crossed Heart’.

PRS for Music Foundation: David Bedford Music Education Award

Temple Winter Festival programme revealed

28 October 2015

The programme for the third Temple Winter Festival, which will take place 14-18 December at Temple Church, has been revealed. 

The festival opens with a performance from the London Community Gospel Choir on 14 December with a programme of gospel, traditional, swing and soul music.

On 15 December, Stile Antico will perform Clemens non Papa's Christmas mass 'Pastores quidnam vidistis’ and a selection of German carols and motets including  Eccard’s 'Übers Gebirg Maria geht' and Praetorius’ double-choir Magnificat, which includes the carols 'In dulci jubilo' and 'Josef lieber, Josef mein'. The following night, Cardinall's Musick will present a programme of Tallis, including his Christmas mass 'Puer natus est nobis' and the motet ‘If ye love me’.

New five-part vocal consort Eo Nomine will present a programme titled 'Scent from Above' on 17 December, featuring seasonal 16th-century pieces and some more familiar fare. 

Temple Church associate organist Greg Morris's lunchtime recital on 18 December focuses on works by Nordic composers, including Nielsen and Buxtehude. In the evening, Temple Church Choir and Temple Brass bring the festival to a close with Christmas music by Einojuhani Rautavaara and Arvo Pärt, movements from Mendelssohn’s Christus and more contemporary sacred works by John Tavener and Eric Whitacre.

Tickets are available online, and cost from £10.

Temple Music

London A Cappella Festival 2016

28 October 2015

The London A Cappella Festival 2016 will take place 28-30 January at Kings Place.

The three-day event - a celebration of the unaccompanied human voice - will include performances, vocal workshops, foyer showcases, talks and free interactive events.

Highlights include a performance from Naturally 7; a workshop from Dominic Peckham and Mark De-Lisser; the launch of Tenebrae Consort's 'Sun, Moon, Sea and Stars' CD; singing activities for families from LACF Kids (including Ex Cathedra's 'Singing Playgrounds'; and a workshop from Bob Chilcott.

The festival is curated by The Swingles and Ikon Arts Management, and is part of the BBC's Get Creative initiative.

Tickets cost from £9.50.

London A Cappella Festival

CIOC Festival almost doubles audience numbers for 2015

28 October 2015

The 2015 edition of the Canadian International Organ (CIOC) Festival welcomed more than 3,100 spectators - almost twice the number who attended the last festival in 2013.

The increase in attendance has been attributed to an increased number of events, and collaborations with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Festival des couleurs de l’orgue français and McGill University. 
Highlights of the 2015 festival included recitals from organists including Réjean Poirier (Québec), Shen Yuan (China) and Jean Guillou (France); an organ crawl on 17 October (featuring three organs in downtown Montréal); and a masterclass with Jean Guillou on 18 October. 
The festival culminated in a gala concert on 16 October at the Notre-Dame Basilica, held in memory of CIOC co-founder Noël Spinelli. The creation of the Spinelli Prize was announced during the event: the inaugural $5000 award will be awarded by the jury in 2017 for the best performance of a work in one of the three competition rounds.
CIOC is devoted to the promotion of organ music in Québec and Canada through outreach activities, concerts and an annual festival held in October each year, during which a competition is held every third year.

Canadian International Organ Competition

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