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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.

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

Latest News

Frauenkirche anniversary concert to be broadcast live

22 October 2015

The anniversary concert marking ten years since the reconstruction of the Dresden Frauenkirche will be shown live on 24 October 2015 from 8pm on the Dresden Music Festival website and on Medici.tv.

The Dresden Music Festival is marking this occasion with a programme based on Dresden's musical history. The Orpheus Orchestra will perform Schumann's second symphony; excerpts from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream; and La Muse et le Poète by Saint-Saëns (a friend of Schumann's, and the first to conduct the composer's second symphony).

The programme also includes the European premiere of a new work by Wolfgang Rihm commissioned specially for the occasion. The Duo Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra will be performed with Jan Vogler and Mira Wang as soloists.

The Frauenkirche was built in the 18th century and was destroyed in the Allied bombing during World War II. Work to rebuild the church began after the reunification of Germany, and was completed in 2005.

Following the live broadcast in the internet the concert will be available in free replay on medici.tv for 90 days. 


RCO survey 2015

19 October 2015

Organists and choral directors are invited to complete the Royal College of Organists survey 2015.

The survey is part of a consultation process which will help the College and its partner organisations to shape future services and support for organists and choral directors.
The results will be used to develop new services, benefits and partnerships which will ensure that the College is best placed to help musicians of every age, level of attainment and ambition to meet the realities of a 21st-century musical life.

The survey should take no more than 10 minutes, and should be completed by 31 October. 

RCO survey

Applications open for the Last Choir Singing Competition 2016

14 October 2015

2015 winners Anchorsholme Primary Academy with Simon Bowman and Jonathan Ansell
2015 winners Anchorsholme Primary Academy with Simon Bowman and Jonathan Ansell

Applications for the Last Choir Singing Competition 2016 are now open.

The competition is open to choirs comprising Lancashire junior school children between Year 3 and Year 6. The winning choir will receive £1,000 in vouchers towards music equipment for their school and the True Bearing Last Choir Singing 2016 trophy. Each runner-up will receive £500 and winners of the regional heats will receive £250.

Each choir will compete in regional heats throughout February and March 2016, with the overall winners announced at the final, which will take place at King George’s Hall, Blackburn on 17 June.

The competition is sponsored by True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners in partnership with the Lancashire Music Hub, Blackburn with Darwen Music Hub and Blackpool Music Service.

George Critchley, chairman of True Bearing Chartered, said: ‘Last year’s competition was a huge success with around 1,500 children taking part in 45 choirs. We are delighted to bring it back for a second year and we aim to increase the number of contestants to 5,000. The UK has one of the most respected Choral traditions in the world and I am so proud to be part of that tradition with our support and sponsorship of Last Choir Singing. 

‘We wanted to give something back to a community that has supported our firm over the last 12 years. As organiser and main sponsor, True Bearing is keen to raise awareness of singing in junior schools and to demonstrate that music education is alive and well in Lancashire!’

The deadline for entries is 30 October 2015.

Last Choir Singing

DG makes first recording in the Sistine Chapel

14 October 2015

Sistine Chapel Choir and Massimo Palombella
Sistine Chapel Choir and Massimo PalombellaBurkhard Bartsch © Governatorato SCV - Direzione dei Musei

DG president Mark Wilkinson presents Pope Francis with a copy
DG president Mark Wilkinson presents Pope Francis with a copy

The Vatican has permitted the first ever recording in the Sistine Chapel.

Cantate Domino, featuring the Sistine Chapel Choir, has been released on Deutsche Grammophon.

The disc entered the specialist classical chart at number 3, with critics praising the recording's 'sumptuous sound'.

The album features music written for the Sistine Chapel Choir by Palestrina, Lassus and Victoria. It also includes two pieces of Gregorian chant and the world premiere recordings of the 1661 Sistine Codex version of Allegri’s Miserere and a Nunc dimittis attributed to Palestrina which is still used during papal celebrations.

Deutsche Grammophon set up a special studio within the chapel. The mixing desk was set up in an ante-chamber, next to the Sala del Pianto (where the newly elected cardinal is first dressed as Pope). Producer Anna Barry described it as an ‘overwhelming privilege’ to be among Michelangelo’s frescoes.

Choir director Massimo Palombella said: ‘The music we have recorded was created for papal celebrations in the Sistine Chapel and by composers who wrote specifically for the Sistine Chapel Choir. The Sistine Chapel was consecrated in 1483 and has been home to the papal choir ever since. After an intensive period of study and scholarship of the sacred music in the Renaissance and its aesthetic pertinence, we have arrived at the point of making the first commercial recording, in this remarkable building, with this prestigious label.’

Pope Francis received the first copy of the disc.

Cantate Domino

Applications open for the NYCGB Fellowship Programme 2016/17

13 October 2015

Applications are now open for the 2016/17 NYCGB Fellowship Programme.

The scheme, which launched in 2015, provides eight exceptional choral singers aged 22-25 with 50 days of training in performance, ensemble work, musical leadership and pedagogy over the course of a year (starting in September) designed to prepare them for professional activity as performers, educators and leaders. Each singer receives an annual bursary of £4,000.

A three-round audition process, held at locations nationwide from November to January, will subject candidates to advanced tests of individual vocal ability and ensemble skills with a wide range of exercises and challenges.

NYCGB Fellowship

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