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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

Songs of Praise school choir of the year winners named

18 May 2015, Katy Wright

Junior category winners Ysgol Iau Llangennech
Junior category winners Ysgol Iau Llangennech

Llanelli's Ysgol Iau Llangennech and Hereford Cathedral School's Cantabile Girls’ Choir have been announced as the winners of the 2015 BBC Songs of Praise school choir of the year competition.

Ysgol Iau Llangennech won the junior school category, while Cantabile Girls’ Choir took the senior school title. The final, which took place at Nottingham’s Albert Hall, was broadcast on BBC One on 17 May.

Lewis Richards, conductor of Ysgol Iau Llangennech said: ‘The children give so much time and energy during rehearsals. I’m over the moon that they have something to show for their efforts and perseverance. The children were determined to perform their socks off in the final, and that’s exactly what they did!’

Cantabile had appeared in the finals of the competition before, and have also won the international Eisteddfod on two occasions. Music director Jo Williamson said: ‘Words cannot express how happy I am for the girls – I’m so proud of them and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.  They have worked so hard for this moment and gave everything they had – heart and soul!’

Dave Stanford, executive producer of Songs of Praise, said: ‘The judges faced a difficult decision for both categories because the standard of entries was so high. Cantabile Girls’ Choir achieved success after an outstanding performance and Ysgol Iau Llangennech were faultless. Many congratulations to both the schools. The Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition has been running since 2003 and we are always knocked out by the quality and enthusiasm of the school choirs which enter.’

A new judging panel for the 2015 competition included: JB Gill, from boy band JLS; vocal coach and opera singer Yvie Burnett from The Voice; and Tim Rhys-Evans, the founder of Welsh male voice choirs Only Men Aloud and Only Boys Aloud.

The other finalists were Queen’s Young Voices (Chester) and Lindley Junior School Choir (Huddersfield) for the junior category, and Twyford Church of England High School Choir (London) and Strathearn School Chamber Choir (Belfast) for the senior category.

The competition launched in 2003 and attracts hundreds of entries annually. Over 45,000 young singers have entered to date.

May/June issue out now!

8 May 2015

I Fagiolini in rehearsal
I Fagiolini in rehearsalMaggie Hamilton

Montreal's Maison Symphonique
Montreal's Maison Symphonique

In the May/June issue:

As the Three Choirs Festival celebrates its tercentenary, we trace how the great British event has attracted top artists and audiences over the course of its 300 years; I Fagiolini’s latest immersive music theatre project – Betrayal – brings a dramatic twist to the madrigals of Gesualdo; and a new anthology from Edition Peters opens a fresh seam of repertoire for choirs and their directors. Plus, the striking organ case designs of Suffolk pioneer Jack Penton; David Hill unwraps John Rutter’s Requiem as the composer approaches his 70th birthday; how a new Casavant organ has added a touch of chic to Montreal’s Maison Symphonique; David Goode turns his attention to pedal technique; Latvian youth choir ‘Kamer…’ explores past, present and future through song; John McCabe obituary; and Choir & Organ’s pick of this year’s choral and organ offerings in our Festivals supplement


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Messiah documentary wins BAFTA

7 May 2015, Katy Wright


The documentary Messiah at the Foundling Hospital has won a BAFTA for television craft, in the 'Sound - Factual' category. Aired on 3 April 2015 on BBC 2, the documentary was recorded by Mike Hatch (of Floating Earth, the main independent classical music recording specialists), Kuz Randhawa and Matt Skilton. It featured performances from Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort and Players.

Berlin Radio Choir announces new season

30 April 2015

Berlin Radio Choir's new conductor, Gijs Leenaars
Berlin Radio Choir's new conductor, Gijs LeenaarsHans van der Woerd

The Rundfunkchor Berlin has announced its 2015-16 season, its first with new Dutch conductor Gijs Leenaars (36) as principal conductor and artistic director.   

The season will involve the radio chorus in 65 concerts featuring 26 programmes under 16 conductors. At his inaugural concert on 19 September, Gijs Leenaars will conduct works by Schoenberg, Bach and Schütz in the Passionskirche. The choir will also appear at Musikfest Berlin in Schoenberg’s unfinished oratorio Die Jakobsleiter and, together with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Simon Rattle, it will take part in Schoenberg’s drama with music Die glückliche Hand. Other works during the season include Poulenc’s Figure humaine, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Eriks Esenvald’s multi-media Nordic Light alongside better-known works in the choral canon, including Requiems by Fauré, Mozart and Verdi, Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony, and Jochen Sandig’s ‘physicalization’ of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem. 

Also in the season are Sing-Along concerts and the broad-based education initiative SING!, which operates at nine primary schools and reaches over 500 schoolchildren and 60 teachers. www.rundfunkchor-berlin.de


BBC unveils the 2015 Proms programme

24 April 2015

© BBC/Andrew Hayes Watkins

The BBC Proms 2015 season was launched in London last night, with public booking set to open on 16 May. There are 76 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, plus 12 Cadogan Hall concerts and four Proms in the Park. Promming tickets remain £5 for the tenth year.   

Alongside choral repertoire giants including The Dream of Gerontius, Belshazzar’s Feast, Carmina Burana and Verdi’s Requiem are world premieres of Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Homage to Tallis (The Cardinall’s Musick/Andrew Carwood/20 July) and Hugh Wood’s Epithalamium (BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Sir Andrew Davis/22 July), as well as the European premiere of Eric Whitacre’s Deep Field (BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Eric Whitacre/9 August).   

Organ enthusiasts will welcome a performance of Jón Leifs’s Organ Concerto (Stephen Farr, organ, BBC SO/Sakari Oramo/21 August), a Sunday evening solo Bach recital by Thierry Escaich (23 August), and the world premiere of B. Tommy Andersson’s Pan (David Goode, organ, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thomas Søndergård/3 September), as well as the perennially favourite Poulenc Organ Concerto (James O’Donnell, organ, BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thomas Søndergård/21 July) alongside the Symphony of Psalms.   

Season tickets, weekend promming passes and Proms in the Park tickets go on sale at 9am on 15 May; other bookings open at 9am on 16 May.




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