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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.

Pull out all the stops

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

Latest News

Bringing joy to the world

14 October 2009

A concert tour of Karl Jenkins's most recent two choral works has just been announced, to tie in with the release of his latest EMI recording, Stella natalis, a Christmas themed album released in mid-November.

The five-concert Stella natalis UK tour features Tenebrae and an instrumental ensemble conducted by Jenkins. 
28 November Chelmsford Cathedral (includes world premieres of Stella natalis and Joy to the World)
2 December St Albans Cathedral
4 December Clifton Cathedral Bristol
19 December Banbury St Mary's Church
22 December Norwich Cathedral

Boosey & Hawkes's website gives more information on the new works:
EMI's website includes a video interview with the composer: 
Jenkins is now writing a new Gloria for choir and orchestra, to be premiered by the Really Big Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall on 11 July 2010. 

Commissioning young composers

17 September 2009

An exciting new partnership between the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, and Choir & Organ is set to give young composers the opportunity to work with one of the world's leading choirs.

Throughout 2010 St John’s will specify the theme, forces and length of each of C&O’s New Music commissions. Composers will write in consultation with Andrew Nethsingha, the College’s director of music, and the process will be followed in the magazine's regular features. All the premieres will be given by the choir or the organ scholars at St John’s and will be included in the College’s webcasting programme. Scores will continue to be available online for free download for six months. The sixth composition of the year will be the winning entry in C&O’s Composition Competition 2010 (details to appear shortly on our website).

St John’s College, which celebrates its quincentenary in 2011, has had a chapel choir since the 1670s and daily services have been sung ever since. Today the choir has an international reputation for musical excellence; a rich portfolio of recordings, regular tours in north America, and a weekly webcasting programme ensure that its voice is heard worldwide. Regular commissioning ensures a continuing freshness in repertoire alongside the classics of the English cathedral tradition.

Richard Hickox Foundation launch

3 September 2009

Courtesy Chandos Records

A concert at London’s Barbican Centre on 15 October will see the launch of the Richard Hickox Foundation in memory of the British conductor who died prematurely in November 2008. The London Symphony Chorus with the City of London Sinfonia, conducted by Joseph Cullen and Andrew Litton, will perform works by Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams and Britten, reflecting Hickox’s lifelong championing of music by British composers.

Chandos Records will release at the same time a 2CD set of highlights from the 280-plus recordings Hickox made for the company. Proceeds from ‘Within a Dream – A Celebration of the Artistry of Richard Hickox’ will be donated to the Foundation, whose aims are to continue to support the causes close to the late conductor’s heart (see below).

Richard Hickox Foundation concert

Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Elgar: The Music Makers
Holst: The Hymn of Jesus
Vaughan Williams: Toward the Unknown Region

Felicity Palmer (ms), London Symphony Chorus, City of London Sinfonia  / Joseph Cullen and Andrew Litton (dirs)

7.30pm, 15 October at Barbican Centre, London

The Richard Hickox Foundation goals are:

  • To commission and financially support recordings of British composers, focusing on those of importance who have been neglected by record companies and concert promoters. 
  • To identify and support young conductors and singers worldwide through grants to enable the appointment of Associate Conductors (known as Richard Hickox Conducting Fellowships) and through grants for concert training for young singers (known as Richard Hickox Singing Fellowships). 
  • Through grants and other forms of support to encourage performances of British music outside the UK. Richard Hickox pioneered British music from Sydney to San Diego – this objective will maintain the momentum.
  • To communicate information about the life and work of Richard Hickox, mainly through a new website:

The Richard Hickox Foundation has been set up as a company limited by guarantee (number 6858087) and will be registered as a charity under UK law. For further information, please contact: Stephen Connock MBE, Trustee, The Richard Hickox Foundation, c/o Intermusica, Crystal Wharf, 36 Graham Street, London N1 8GJ. Tel: 07976 382 498; e-mail:

‘Within a Dream – A Celebration of Richard Hickox’

CHAN 10568(2)

Available from Chandos 28 September 2009

Music by Arnold, Bridge, Britten, Delius, Dvořák, Elgar, Grainger, Haydn, Holst, Hummel, William Lloyd Webber, Mendelssohn, Menotti, Schubert, Stanford, Tavener, Vaughan Williams and Verdi

All proceeds will go to The Richard Hickox Foundation.

Further information from: Paul Westcott, Chandos Records,, 01206 225 217, 07802 543 883

First US organ to be built in London

21 August 2009

Richards, Fowkes & Co. have signed a contract to build a new organ for St George's, Hanover Square, in London. The Tennessee-based company, which is only 20 years old, has the distinction of being the first US company to provide an organ in London. The new 3-manual and pedal instrument will be placed inside the historic case, first built in 1726 and later enlarged in the 19th century.

Ralph Richards said he was 'thrilled and honoured' to be awarded the contract in a church of such distinction. The building was designed by John James, an assistant to Christopher Wren, and houses carvings by Grinling Gibbons, a 1724 painting by William Kent, and front windows dating from 1525 by Arnold of Nijmegen. George Frederic Handel was a parishioner for 35 years.

Competition news

4 August 2009

The Westphalian Organ Competition 2009 – Improvisation runs on 12–14 Nov in Altstädter Nikolaikirche in Bielefeld, Germany. For organists born after 31 December 1971.
Deadline: 31 August

The RSCM is calling for submissions for its 2009 Harold Smart Composition Competition. The theme is anthems, under five minutes, for children’s choirs.
Deadline: 1 October

Details and deadlines for Musica Mundi choral competitions can be found at

Upcoming competitions include the International Organ Competition ‘Organ Without Borders’, on 31 Aug–4 Sep in Luxembourg (; the Gottfried Silbermann Organ Competition, on 5–20 Sep in Freiberg, Germany (; the Mikael Tariverdiev International Competition in Kaliningrad, Russia, on 6–11 Sep (; the Jordan International Competition in Solo Organ Playing in Columbus, Georgia, on 17–26 Sep (; the 2nd Buxtehude Organ Competition, on 26 Sep–4 October in Lübeck, Germany (; the Prix d’Orgue Bach de Saint-Pierre-lès-Nemours, on 27 Sep in France (; the Marcello Galanti International Organ Competition, on 3–4 Oct in Mondaino, Italy (; the International Organ Competition for the Wiesbaden Bach Prize, on 22–24 Oct in Germany (; and the International Improvisation Competition Leipzig, on 29 Oct–1 Nov (

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