News Archive: March 2005
This is an archive of news articles from March 2005. Current news articles can be found here and an archive index can be found here. Information in this archive may no longer be valid.
- St George's Hall organ to be restored
As part of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of 2,000,000, the Willis organ of Liverpool's St George's Hall will begin a programme of restoration, beginning with replacement of the bellows leather, much of which is 150 years old. Fundraising is needed to cover later work on the organ, as most of the grant will be spent elsewhere in the building, including partial glazing of the renowned tiled hall floor which is usually covered for its protection.
- Dame Gillian Weir
Organist Gillian Weir DBE has been presented with the New Zealand Society's Lifetime Achievement Award. Born in Wanganui, she came to the United Kingdom in 1961 and went on to become the first woman president of the RCO, and the award recognises her services as a "musical ambassador". Dame Gillian has also recently been appointed Artist in Residence at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, giving her first masterclass for organ students in February.
- RSCM to move
The Royal School of Church Music is to move from Cleveland Lodge in Dorking to Sarum College, Salisbury in 2006, which wil necessitate the finding of new homes for several of their instruments. More information on
- News from John Henderson
Dr John Henderson's renowned Directory of Composers for Organ has had its publication delayed for a few months due to various reasons beyond the author's control. However John is using the delay to ensure that it is an up to date 2005 edition, and details of publication dates will be available on his website.
- Tower of London Music Festival
For the first time ever, the Tower of London will be hosting a Festival of Music this summer from the 6th to 16th of July. Opera and jazz will alternate, with highlights including Donizetti's Anna Bolena in the very place where the second act of the opera is set. Jazz acts include Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua, and (Hammond) organ-based group The James Taylor Quartet. More details and ticket information from their website.
- Cavaill-Coll Merklin restored
The organ of St. Antoine des XV-XX was inaugurated on the 30th of January after restoration by French organbuilder Yves Fossaert. More information about the organ and its restoration can be found on their, the inauguration and
coming concerts can be found on their website (in French).
- Beaumaris Organ Competition
St Mary and St Nicholas Church, Beaumaris is holding an organ competition for under 25 year olds on the 3rd of June, to celebrate the restoration of its organ, parts of which are 200 years old. Details from Revd Neil Fairlamb, The Rectory, 5 Tros-yr-afon, Beaumaris, Anglesey, LL58 8BN.
- New Mander in New England
The new Mander organ of the West Parish Meeting House, West Barnstable, Massachusetts is nearing completion after delivery in January. The organ has 23 stops over two manuals, and more details can be found on the church's website.
- RIP Jimmy Smith
American Jazz organist Jimmy Smith, who brought the Hammond organ from its church setting to a new jazz audience, died in February.
- Bod International Organ Festival
The 4th Bod International Organ Festival takes place from the 30th of March in northern Norway. Events include master classes and recitals by Christopher Bowers-Broadbent, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Gary Verkade, Wolfgang Zerer and Thomas Willstedt. Other performers include ystein Jger, Kjersti Nilsen, rjan Horn Johansen,
Tonje Braaten, Lena Weman-Ericsson (flute), Bugge Wesseltoft (piano), Procul Harum, and the Paul Wagnberg Organ Unit. The festival includes the inaugural "Fridthjov Anderssen Competition" for organists 13 to 20 years old.
More information on their website (mainly in Norwegian).
- Cathcart Spring Proms at the Royal Albert Hall
May the 19th sees the tenth annual Cathcart Spring Prom, which as well as popular classics and symphonic rock from the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Royal Choral Society and Band of the Grenadier Guards, will include a new organ concerto. Tickets and details at the RAH website.
- Early Music Festival at Cullercoats
St George's Church Cullercoats' Early Music Festival includes a tour of English keyboard music "From Tallis to Handel", including performances of music from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and 'Musick's Hand~Maid' played on period instruments. The Vox Humana Chamber Choir presents "Music for Royal Patrons" as the weekend's main event accompanied by a Baroque String Band and organ continuo. Details are on their website.