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

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Winner of Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010

23 July 2010

James Davy, assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and winner of Choir & Organ's 2010 Composition Competition
James Davy, assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and winner of Choir & Organ's 2010 Composition Competition

The Choir & Organ Composition Competition 2010 has been won by James Davy with Domine clamavi.

Davy is assistant director of music at Blackburn Cathedral and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. His setting of the psalm text (taken from Psalm 141 vv1-3) focuses on the reflective aspect of worship. He commented, 'At the cathedral, psalms are part of our daily tradition. In these particular verses there's a lot that sums up worship, and music for it – it is quiet and reflective in nature, rather than triumphal. For me it expresses an aspect of worship that often goes by unnoticed, and that is certainly underrated.'

The competition was judged by Gabriel Jackson, John McCabe, Andrew Nethsingha, John Rutter, and the editor of Choir & Organ. The premiere will given in November (date TBC) by the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge, directed by Andrew Nethsingha.

£950,000 lottery award for Royal Festival Hall organ

17 June 2010

The restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ gets green light
The restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ gets green light© Morley Von Sternberg

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £950,000 to Southbank Centre towards the restoration and reinstallation of the Royal Festival Hall organ, it was announced today.

The 1954 Grade 1-listed Harrison & Harrison organ was taken out in 2005 in preparation for the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall; when the Hall reopened in 2007, only one-third of the instrument was replaced. The completion and reinstallation of the remaining two-thirds - with almost 5,000 pipes of the organ's full complement of 7,710 - will be the final piece of the jigsaw in the architectural centrepiece of Sir Leslie Martin’s concert auditorium.

Harrison & Harrison will carry out the work, which is expected to be completed in time for the organ's 60th anniversary in 2014.

A complementary community learning and engagement programme will enable people of all ages to experience the organ for free. These will include an organ scholar placement, free monthly recitals in partnership with the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music, and provision for two new apprentices to work with Harrison & Harrison.

Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said:

'I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their significant contribution to the full restoration of the great organ of the Royal Festival Hall for the next generation. This is a major boost ahead of our fundraising campaign, which we will launch in September, announcing how the public can also support the completion of the organ project.'

George Benjamin and Karl Jenkins honoured by Queen

15 June 2010

Composer Karl Jenkins: honoured by HRH The Queen
Composer Karl Jenkins: honoured by HRH The Queen© Eric Richmond

George Benjamin and Karl Jenkins have been awarded CBEs in HRH The Queen's birthday honours list, for services to music; record producer Robin Millar was similarly honoured for services to the music industry.

OBE recipients included:

Mrs Ursula Jones (for services to music) 

Terence Alan Clarke, Assistant Headteacher and Arts Co-ordinator, Langley School, Solihull (for services to education)

Ms Alison Joan Wenham, Chairman and chief executive, Association of Independent Music (for services to the Creative Industries)

Nicholas McGegan, Conductor and Musicologist (for services to Music overseas)

Ian Ralfini, former General manager and vice president, EMI Manhattan Records, USA (for services to the Music Industry and charitable activities in the UK and USA)

MBEs were awarded to:

David Keith Young, conductor, Dublin Welsh Male Choir (for services to Welsh Music and Culture overseas)

Derek William Barr, former chief executive, Fairfield Halls, Croydon (for services to Music and to the Arts)

Mrs Margaret Elizabeth Houghton (for voluntary service to Choral Music in Cambridgeshire)

Philip Julian Kelsall, Resident Organist, Tower Ballroom, Blackpool (for services to Music)

London's 18th-century organs

6 May 2010

The 1735 Bridge organ in Christ Church Spitalfields
The 1735 Bridge organ in Christ Church Spitalfields

An 18th-century London organs all-day bus tour is being organised by the Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields in Wednesday 9 June, led by Dr William McVicker, organ curator at Southbank Centre. Participants will visit three significant architectural venues and to explore the organs installed in them: the 1735 Bridge organ in the fine Hawksmoor church of Christ Church Spitalfields; the recently restored 1704 Renatus Harris in St Botolph Aldgate; and the newly restored 1760 George England instrument in Dulwich College Chapel.


The total cost is £75 per person (£65 for paid-up Supporters). Contact 020 7859 3035,

Volcano cancels organ course

20 April 2010

The Cambridge Academy of Organ Studies has been compelled to postpone the courses due to be given by Lionel Rogg on 23 and 24 April. It is unknown whether Professor Rogg would be able to travel to Cambridge from Switzerland in time for the classes. The Academy hopes to reschedule the event later this year; an update will be given on the Academy's website:

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