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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.

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

Latest News

Choral compositions announced

18 August 2015

© Chris Christodoulou

The pieces chosen for the Choir & Organ Choral Composition Workshop on 1 September, with Judith Weir and the BBC Singers, are:

  • Manos CHARALABOPOULOS: The Cloths of Heaven
  • William COLE: ...plorans ploravit... 
  • Jacob EWENS: After long silence 
  • Gemma MCGREGOR: Egilsay Kirk
  • Angela Elizabeth SLATER: Apparition 
  • SungLyul YOON: O Virtus Sapientiae
BBC Singers senior producer Michael Emery said, 'We look forward to a really thought-provoking and interesting workshop.'

This workshop takes place on Tuesday 1 September 2015 at BBC Maida Vale Studio 2, London W9, from 2-5pm. Sign up for a free ticket here.

Chosen scores for our Organ Composition Workshop on Thursday 10 September at St George's Hanover Square were announced on 4 August. Tickets for this workshop can be reserved here

John Scott: concert review

14 August 2015

John Scott at his Three Choirs Festival recital in Hereford Cathedral
John Scott at his Three Choirs Festival recital in Hereford Cathedralphoto by Gordon Taylor

On 31 July, John Scott's recital at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford was a sensation (from a review by the editor of the Three Choirs Festival, to be published in the September/October issue of Choir & Organ)

… Scott demonstrated the versatility of the instrument in the big orchestral romanticism of Mendelssohn’s Overture to St Paul (arr. Best), Franck’s Choral no.2 in B minor, and a complete romp through Lemare’s Concert Fantasia; the simple elegance of Mozart’s Adagio and Allegro in F minor K594; and a registrational cornucopia in Bach’s Passacaglia & Fugue in C minor BWV 582 and Dupré’s Variations sur un Noël – I felt like a child in a sweetshop, sampling one delicious flavour after another. The programme also included two new pieces for the Orgelbüchlein Project – Cecilia McDowall’s Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält, and the world premiere of Anthony Powers’s O Gott, du frommer Gott – and Scott cleverly preceded each with a Bach chorale prelude that reflected a similar compositional technique: Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 632 before the Powers, written in a canonic texture, and Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 633, exquisitely embellished, before the McDowall, which also is characterised by delicate ornamentation …


JOHN SCOTT (1956-2015)

13 August 2015

John Scott at his Three Choirs Festival recital in Hereford Cathedral
John Scott at his Three Choirs Festival recital in Hereford CathedralCourtesy Three Choirs Festival

The death of John Scott yesterday has shocked the organ world.


Scott had returned to New York, where he was organist and director of music at Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, after a European tour which had included a brilliant recital in Hereford Cathedral on 31 July at the Three Choirs Festival. He was hospitalised with a cardiac complaint and died yesterday afternoon, with his wife Lily at his side.


John Scott was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and was a chorister in the cathedral choir there before going as organ scholar to St John’s College, Cambridge University. Following assistant organist posts at Southwark and St Paul’s cathedrals in London, Scott was succeeded Christopher Dearnley as organist and director of music of St Paul’s in 1990. In the 2004 New Year’s Honours list he was appointed a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO).


An obituary will be published in the September/October 2015 issue of Choir & Organ. 

Organ compositions announced

4 August 2015

Chris Christodoulou

Craig Ogden

Master of the Queen’s Music 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    

Judith Weir 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:

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