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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

Organ takes a back seat at 2013 Proms

18 April 2013

Proms’ accent on melody and virtuosity: Richard Hills
Proms’ accent on melody and virtuosity: Richard Hills

Following last year’s Cameron Carpenter extravaganzas at the BBC Proms, this year’s programme, announced on 18 April, will afford only intermittent opportunities for the ‘Voice of Jupiter’, aka the Royal Albert Hall Grand Organ, to be heard during the season.

Klaus Sonnleitner, organist of St Florian, Linz, will perform Guilmant’s arrangement of the Sinfonia to Bach’s Cantata No.29, chorale preludes BWV 662, 667 and 668, and the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543 as a prelude to the Vienna Philharmonic’s performance of Bruckner’s Symphony No.8, conducted by Lorin Maazel (6 Sep). Bruckner. Bruckner became organist of St Florian almost 160 years ago, and is buried underneath the organ.

French organist Thierry Escaich returns to the Proms as soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No.3 with the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Paavo Järvi (1 Sep).

But the Proms have recognised the multiple talents of British organist Richard Hills who will present an August Bank Holiday ‘Light Organ Prom’ (26 Aug) including Coates’s March, Sound and Vision, his own Sullivan arrangement, Mikado Memories, Ireland’s Miniature Suite, Villanella, ‘Ace of Hearts’ from Billy Mayerl’s Four Aces Suite, Edward German’s Three Dances from Nell Gywn, ending his official programme with Fats Waller’s A Handful of Keys.

Equally at home in the classical and theatre organ genres, Hills trained under William Whitehead and David Sanger, holding organ scholarships at Exeter College, Oxford, Portsmouth Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Currently organist at St Mary's, Bourne Street, London, his career in the theatre organ world has been equally prestigious: he was named ‘Organist of the Year’ by the American Theatre Organ Society in 2010, and recently issued an acclaimed CD of classical and theatre organ tracks performed on the dual-console organ of Southampton Guildhall. 

Lindsay Thomson

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