News Archive: May 2004
The sense of anticipation on the morning of 13th April in Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh was great; the seventh Edinburgh Organ Academy was about to begin. Once again a high profile line-up of tutors had been brought together under the auspices of Napier University's annual course to work with students of all ages from many countries.
One of the unique aspects of the EOA is that it not only caters for the young aspirant professional, but also looks after the "reluctant" organist, and provides activities for a wide variety of organ interests. This year, the 37 participating students had a chance to work in small groups with Lorenzo Ghielmi, from Milan, on music from the Italian Renaissance, and works by Bach, whilst Susan Landale led an exploration of the works of Vierne and Tournemire. Gordon Stewart help those who need to develop their technique, and provided much food for thought, whilst others looked into Messiaen, with Matthew Owens, the English Voluntary, with John Kitchen, or simply explored ways of building their repertoire with the course director, Michael Harris. One of the most popular strands of study was Improvisation, which was directed by Brigitte Harris, whose considerable experience in this field of teaching put many at their ease.
The four days of the course went by very quickly, and we were also regally entertained in two concerts by Gordon Stewart, in St Giles' Cathedral, and by Lorenzo Ghielmi, with a truly enlightening programme and performance on the Ahrend Organ in the Reid Concert Hall. In Gordon Stewart's recital in St Giles' we also had the first performance of a new work, Concert Waltz, by John Ellis, which was the winning piece in the first Inches Carr Edinburgh Organ Academy Organ Composition Competition.
Edinburgh is now universally acknowledged as one of the UK's finest 'organ' locations and the Edinburgh Organ Academy is central to the development of organ education in Scotland. This year we had students from UK, Germany, Iceland, Canada and the USA.
Details of next year's programme will be available from Michael Harris, Edinburgh Organ Academy 2005 at firstname.lastname@example.org.