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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

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. 

Rob Elliott announced as new director of Cornwall choral festival

20 July 2015, Rebecca Morton

Rob Elliott
Rob Elliott

Rob Elliott has been announced as the new director of Cornwall’s International Male Voice Choral Festival, following the retirement of Peter Davies, who held the post for nine years. Elliot will lead the eighth biennial festival in 2017, which encompasses workshops, concerts and tuition for directors and singers in venues across Cornwall.   

Festival chairman Bruce Taylor said: ‘We are delighted to be welcoming someone with Rob Elliott’s formidable musical and management credentials to lead the Festival team now and into the future.’   

Born into a musical family in South Wales, Elliott’s experience includes performing, conducting, teaching and lecturing. At the age of 21, he conducted the massed male choirs at the Welsh National Eisteddfod and in 1999 he directed the English National Symphony Orchestra at the Wiltshire Music Festival. In 2001 he founded the Wessex Male Choir, who became International Male Choir Champions at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in 2011. Since 2008 he has been musical director of the Parkinson’s UK charity Christmas concert in London.   

‘Peter Davies and the team have created an amazing legacy with the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival,’ says Elliot. ‘It not only attracts choirs and their entourages from every corner of the globe, but creates a joyful five days of concerts, events, competitions and celebrations right across Cornwall which brings more than £1 million into the local economy. It will be my challenge to build on those achievements and to ensure that this event continues to flourish and grow in importance and popularity in the years to come.’   

Inaugurated in 2003, the non-profit festival aims to encourage the development of singers, composers and conductors of all ages and strengthen national and international relations in the male voice movement. 70 choirs participated in this summer’s event, which involved 2500 singers from across the globe.

Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival

St Albans winners

20 July 2015

Johannes Zeinler, 1st Prize and Gold Medal winner, Interpretation
Johannes Zeinler, 1st Prize and Gold Medal winner, Interpretation

David Cassan, Tournemire Prize winner, Improvisation
David Cassan, Tournemire Prize winner, Improvisation

The competitions at St Albans International Organ Festival finished with a flourish on Friday, with two competitors in the morning’s Improvisation final, and four in the Interpretation final in the evening.

Coming from Germany and France respectively, Lukas Grimm and David Cassan both gave convincing performances of Tournemire’s Improvisation sur le Te Deum (as transcribed by Duruflé) before improvising three movements in symphonic style on the plainchant Ave Maris Stella and two themes by Piet Kee. David Cassan took the Tournemire Prize with his impressively integrated performance.

The four Interpretation finalists – Johannes Zeinler (Austria), Michal Kocot (Poland), Zita Nauratyill (Hungary) and Davide Mariano (Italy) – each peformed a Handel organ concerto with the Orchester Wiener Akademie, directed by founder-director (and jury member) Martin Haselböck, before completing their programmes with a free choice of works by J.S. Bach and other composers. Each performer shone in different ways, but the overall winner and gold medallist was Johannes Zeinler, with Davide Mariano taking the second prize (sponsored by Choir & Organ's parent company, Rhinegold Publishing).

 The winners of the other awards were:

  • Peter Hurford Bach Prize: Davide Mariano
  • Audience Prize: Zita Nauratyill
  • Paul Patterson Prize for the best performance of the commissioned work, Paul Patterson’s Volcano: Zita Nauratyill
  • Douglas May Award: Thomas Gaynor, from New Zealand

4.5% of Europe involved in choral singing

10 July 2015, Katy Wright

A study by the Voice Project has found that 4.5% of Europe’s population are actively engaged in choral singing. Singing Europe discovered that 37 million people are involved in about 1 million choirs or vocal ensembles.

The report found that singing provided significant social benefits, with positive impact on health, social integration and cultural development. It also concluded that most of the money invested by participants and funding authorities is used locally or within Europe, contributing to the economic development of the region and the continent as a whole.

The findings are based on two years of examining survey results and other data sources.

Singing Europe report

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

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