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

RPS announces 2015 ENCORE Choral pieces

8 July 2015, Katy Wright

Robin Holloway
Robin HollowayHanya Chlala

Robin Holloway's Christmas Carol and Jonathan Lloyd's Mass have been selected for the Royal Philharmonic Society's ENCORE Choral scheme, which aims to promote neglected contemporary gems of the British choral repertoire. Both works will receive a BBC broadcast and live performance in the UK during 2016/17.

Holloway's Christmas Carol was written in 2002 and premiered by the Choir of King's College Cambridge at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (who recorded it for Warner Classics). The seven-minute work sets festive sacred texts by English writers from 15th-17th centuries.

Lloyd's Mass for six solo voices was composed for the London Sinfonietta Voices and premiered in 1984. The virtuosic 22-minute work was not intended for liturgical use, but was conceived as a reflection on the point where a river estuary joins the sea. The piece was recorded by the London Sinfonietta Voices for Largo in 1992, but has not been performed since.T

The Choral category is the latest addition to the RPS's ENCORE schemes; ENCORE Orchestral and ENCORE Chamber have presented 'lost' works by distinguished UK composers since 2005. Lloyd's fourth symphony was chosen as an ENCORE Orchestral piece for 2006.

Royal Philharmonic Society

July/August issue out now

30 June 2015

Maverick organ builder Peter Collins reflects on 50 years in the business and introduces his new instrument for St Albans International Organ Festival; we revisit the rich legacy of works commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival over the years, from Howells’s Hymnus Paradisi to John Joubert’s An English Requiem; and David Wordsworth argues for the dust to be blown off the choral works of neglected Italian composer Goffredo Petrassi. Plus, conductor David Hill’s advice for maintaining the energy of Handel’s Dixit Dominus; one of ‘Father’ Willis’s finest organs is meticulously restored in Brisbane City Hall; the delicate art of reconstructing Tudor partbooks; the Edinburgh International Festival Chorus at 50; reappraising the legacy of William Faulkes, England’s most prolific organ composer; our International Directory of Pipe Organ Builders supplement; and your chance to WIN tickets to St Alban’s International Organ Festival’s Interpretation Final.


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Margaret Phillips to perform complete Bach organ works in London

24 June 2015, Katy Wright

Margaret Phillips is to perform the complete organ works of Bach on the Richards, Fowkes & Co. organ at St George's Church, Hanover Square this autumn.

The concerts will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 6pm between 24 September and 31 October. Except for the first and last, the concerts will last for approximately one hour.

The series will open with Bach's Clavierübung Part III, which will be framed by the Prelude and Fugue in E flat major BWV 552. For her last recital - which is also the opening concert of the London Bach Society's 25th Anniversary Bachfest - Phillips will play the complete Leipzig Chorales in order to mark the 3rd anniversary of St George's organ.

Phillips performed the complete Bach works earlier this year on the Peter Collins organ (2000) in the English Organ School and Museum in Milborne Port, Somerset. The Diapason praised Phillips on her 'remarkable' 16-disc set of Bach's complete organ works, commenting on her 'refined, polished performances', while Gramophone deemed her cycle to be 'a true and worthy successor to those groundbreaking Bach cycles by Lionel Rogg and Peter Hurford.''

Simon Williams, organist and director of music at St George’s commented: 'There has not been a chance to experience Bach’s complete oeuvre for organ in London for some years and I can think of nowhere else I would rather do so. My colleague Richard Hobson and I are delighted to be working in partnership again with the London Bach Society and its Bachfest 2015.'

Admission to all concerts, except the last, is free with a retiring collection. Tickets for the final concert will be available at the door and in advance from the London Bach Society.

St George's Hanover Square

Wren Choral Marathon (27 June 2015)

24 June 2015, Katy Wright

The Wren Choral Marathon offers the chance to hear concerts by 17 different choirs in 17 Wren churches in a single day, starting at 8am and concluding with a midnight Vespers.

Organised as part of the City of London Festival, the 'Wrenathon' will feature amateur, professional and children's choirs in repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary, classical to gospel. Each performance will last 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for listeners to travel to the next venue.

The concerts include the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain at St Michael Cornhill (8am); the London Gay Men's Chorus at St Michael Paternoster Royal (11am); Evensong at St Paul's Cathedral (5pm); and Collegium at St Mary Aldermary.

Those who attend all 17 concerts will be in the running for a special prize.

Wren Choral Marathon

Penderecki receives papal medal

24 June 2015, Katy Wright

The papal medal 'Per Artem ad Deum'
The papal medal 'Per Artem ad Deum'

Krzysztof Penderecki has received the papal medal 'Per Artem ad Deum' (Through Art to God) from the Pontifical Council for culture in a ceremony held on 22 June 2015. The distinction recognises his 'constant pursuit of God along the paths delineated with the staves and notes'.

Penderecki started writing sacred music in the late 1950s. His sacred oeuvre includes Psalms of David, Utrenja (Matins), Seven Gates of Jerusalem, St Luke Passion, Dies irae, Magnificat, the Polish Requiem, and Credo.

Upon receiving the medal, Penderecki said: 'This award is the crowning of my artistic activity.'

The composer Wojciech Kilar received the medal in 2009.

Per Artem ad Deum

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