Distinguished musicians recognised by the Royal College of Organists
15 January 2015
Professor Edward Higginbottom
Dr Ludger Lohmann
Canon Dr Nicholas Thistlethwaite
Three eminent musicians are to be awarded the RCO Medal, the Royal College of Organists’ highest honour.
Professor Edward Higginbottom, former director of music at New College, Oxford, receives the Medal in recognition of his distinguished achievements in choral conducting and organ- and choral-related scholarship; the renowned organ professor Dr Ludger Lohmann for his distinguished achievements in organ playing, teaching and scholarship; and Canon Dr Nicholas Thistlethwaite, in recognition of his distinguished achievement in organ scholarship, specifically his research on the history of organ building in the UK.
The RCO Medals will be presented at the College’s Conferment of Diplomas at Southwark Cathedral on 14 March this year.
The RCO Medal was first awarded in 2012 and recognises distinguished achievement in one or more of the following areas relating to organ and choral music: performance, teaching, scholarship, composition, organ building, conducting, administration, and philanthropy; it is also available to recognise specific service to the College.
Full report in the March/April 2015 issue of Choir & Organ.
New Year honours for Anne Marsden Thomas and Jeffrey Skidmore
6 January 2015
Anne Marsden Thomas has been awarded an MBE (for services to organ music) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.
Marsden Thomas founded the St Giles International Organ School in 1992, which subsequently teamed up with the Royal College of Organists to become the RCO Academy Organ School. In the 23 years since its founding, thousands of organists of all ages and ability levels have received training at the School, which has gained an international reputation, with centres across the UK, summer courses, workshops and individual teaching.
Marsden Thomas also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, and has published books and articles on organ teaching, most recently Pedalling for Organists (Cramer Music £15.90) and the Oxford Bach Books for Organ (OUP books 1-3, £8.95-£10.95 per volume).
Other titles presented in 2015’s New Year honours list include CBEs for chief executive of Aldeburgh Music and former controller of BBC Radio 3 Roger Wright and the Southbank Centre’s artistic director Jude Kelly, and an OBE for Jeffrey Skidmore, founder-conductor of Birmingham-based chamber choir Ex Cathedra.
Skidmore said: ‘It is a great personal honour for me to receive this award. It is also a tribute to the many groups and institutions I have worked with over a long period of time and in particular Ex Cathedra.’
Dutch conductor Gijs Leenaars appointed principal conductor of Berlin Radio Choir
14 November 2014
New appointment for Gijs LeenaarsHans van der Woerd
British winners at the 2014 Canadian International Organ Competition
14 November 2014
Grand Prize winner David BaskeyfieldGeorge Liberman
David Baskeyfield (30) won the Grand Prize at the Canadian International Organ Competition 2014; he also took the Royal Canadian College of Organists Prize for the best performance of a piece by a Canadian composer, and the Richard-Bradshaw Audience Prize. His final round programme included works by Mozart, Willan, Isoir, Alain and Widor, performed on the IV/90 Casavant organ in Notre Dame Basilica.
Andrew Dewar (32) took second prize and the Bach Prize. Both Baskeyfield and Dewar are past winners of St Albans International Organ Festival, in 2011 and 2005 (respectively). Third place went to Daria Burlak (27), from Russia.
The competition was adjudicated by an international jury chaired by John Grew (Canada), accompanied by Jacques Boucher (Canada), James David Christie (USA), Stefan Engels (Germany), Janette Fishell (USA), Marnie Giesbrecht (Canada), Olivier Latry (France), Pier Damiano Peretti (Italy and Austria), and Dame Gillian Weir (UK).
The final round was recorded by ICI Musique and highlights were broadcast nationally on 23 October All competition rounds can be listened to at cbcmusic.ca/CIOC.
College organist and senior lecturer of KCL David Trendell dies
14 November 2014