The Organ

News Archive: September 2008

  • International Organ Competition Promises to Dazzle: World Première Event Unveils a Stellar Programme Honouring The King of Instruments
    News Item added: 27th September
    As autumn begins so will the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC), which will take place between October 8 and 19, 2008. Not only is this Montreal's first major international organ competition, but also promises to be one of the largest and most prestigious in the world. The Competition reveals a stellar programme providing spectators with a unique sound and visual experience. Enhanced by large screens, as well as the innate surround sound quality of the organ, the CIOC will provide the public with a unique concert experience. Spectators will enjoy free admission to the Competition, in which they will see and hear the talents of 15 world-class organists demonstrating their mastery of what Mozart once called 'The King of Instruments'. In addition to its competitive rounds, the CIOC offers a programme featuring special concerts, recitals by jury members, master classes and guided tours. These activities will enable the public to learn about the artists, the organs, as well as experience Montreal's rich architectural heritage.

    Prior to the First Round of the Competition, an Opening Gala Concert, held in collaboration with the Festival Orgue et Couleurs will take place on Sunday, October 5 at 7:30 pm at the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul. American organist and jury member James Higdon, is the soloist, while Jacques Lacombe will conduct the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivires. Finally, a Closing Gala Concert featuring an Awards Ceremony and recitals by the top three prizewinners will be held on Sunday, October 19 at 7:30 pm at Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste. A world-renowned jury will present the largest total prize money of any major organ competition in the world. Thanks to the contributions of the Competition's partners, a total of $72,000 in prize money will be awarded. A generous award from the Dane and Polly Bales Foundation brings the first prize to $30,000. The audience will determine the recipient of the Richard Bradshaw Audience prize of $5,000 among the five competitors performing at the Finals on October 17. 'This award is in honour of our friend and colleague, the late Richard Bradshaw, a great supporter of the Competition', expressed John Grew, the CIOC's Artistic Director. The public will be able to submit their vote until noon on Sunday, October 19 on site during the Finals or on the CIOC's Website

  • The International Organ Festival at St Albans: Saturday Organ Concert Series begins on 25 October
    News Item added: 27th September
    One of France's leading organ virtuosos, Daniel Roth, will open the new series of Saturday Organ Concerts at St Peter's Church, St Albans on 25 October. Internationally acclaimed performer, composer and teacher, he is the organist at St Sulpice, the famous Paris church where one of his predecessors was Charles-Marie Widor. The concert begins at 5.30pm; admission is free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of the International Organ Festival Society.

    This is the first in a series of six concerts featuring organists from Europe and the UK. Details of the upcoming concerts, which run from November through to April, will be featured in the next issue of The Organ magazine. For further information please contact the Organ Festival office on 01727 844765 or e-mail

  • RCO St Giles Autumn Course at Oundle, Friday 17 – Sunday 19 October
    News Item added: 27th September
    It's not too late to apply! Based in rural Northamptonshire, the course is open to organists of all ages and standards. Full details are at

    Brussels International Organ Week
    News Item added: 20th September
    First launched in 1979 this notable event grows year by year, and attracts an audience of several thousand Belgian and foreign visitors. From 19 – 26 October a daily organ recital can be heard on the best instruments of the city. On Saturday 25 October there will be an Organ Promenade. The opening and closing recitals will take place in the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the first given by Jozef Sluys and the latter by Simon Preston. Ticket are 8 Euros. Further information can be found at by phoning 02/219 26 61 or emailing

  • Organbuilder Obituary: John S Peragallo
    News Item added: 20th September
    John S Peragallo, Jr died Friday, September 12, 2008, aged 76. He was born in New York City and was a lifelong resident of Paterson. Since he was a boy, John helped his father in the family business of building and servicing pipe organs. The Peragallo Pipe Organ Company was founded by his father, John Peragallo, Sr, in 1918. Peragallo Sr originally developed his craft as an apprentice with the famous EM Skinner Organ Company. John Jr joined the company in 1949 and further enhanced the business with a close father-son relationship.

    John Peragallo Jr was the President of the Peragallo Organ Company, Paterson. He was responsible for the construction and care of many of the pipe organs of New Jersey and the complete renovation of the organs at St Patrick's Cathedral, NYC. John Jr's sons, John and Frank III, have been actively involved in the family business since the 1980s and now have a fourth generation of Peragallos, Janine, Anthony and John IV, working alongside them. The company has installed almost 700 new instruments and currently maintains approximately 400 instruments, up and down the East coast of the United States, including the organs of St Patricks Cathedral in NYC.

    John was a member of the American Guild of Organists, Northern NJ Chapter, St John Vianney/ St Elizabeth of Hungary Fraternity and was active with the Boy Scouts of America during his sons' formative years. A kind, generous and caring person, John was dedicated to his family, friends and had a love of his craft. He enjoyed tennis, scrabble, bocce, ping pong and travel. The funeral was held on Tuesday September 16.

  • RCO Event - Choral Directing Workshop with Paul Spicer, Saturday 20 September
    News Item added: 13th September
    This takes place at St George's Church, Hanover Square, London. A professional-standard chamber choir will be present in the afternoon. There is plenty of room left for observers but only two places remain for those who wish to conduct. Look up for the full list of events. Booking forms can be found at

  • Three Organ Masters, Three Organ Courses (Autumn 2008)
    News Item added: 13th September
    24-28 September with Ewald Kooiman in Ottobeuren (F. Couperin, Grigny, Daquin, Balbastre, J.S. Bach, Widor).

    9-11 October with Michael Radulescu in Regensburg (Georg Muffat and his time, plus: workshop on the Alexander Technique for Organists).

    13-15 November with Jean Guillou in the Organ Park at Amsterdam.

  • Henry Willis and Sons Organ Builders
    News Item added: 13th September
    Henry Willis & Sons has recently been awarded the contract to rebuild the 1895 Willis organ of All Saints' Church, Carshalton, also completing the specification. The elaborate case and screen, by Sir Ninian Comper, was erected when the organ was moved from its original position in the North Choir Aisle. The present Choir organ, added in 1957 under the direction of Henry III, is now to be remodelled. The addition of a Great Double, Pedal Ophicleide/Trombone and Violone is also planned as a part of this work.

  • Leeds International Concert Season Announces Lunchtime Organ Series for 2008/09
    News Item added: 7th September
    Leeds International Concert Season is delighted to announce that the 2008/09 programme of lunchtime organ concerts has now been published. Taking place in the Town Hall on Mondays at 1.05pm, these free concerts are the perfect way to wind down from a hectic Monday morning in the office.

    The series begins on 8 September with a special recital celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Town Hall, featuring City Organist, Simon Lindley. As usual there are two brass concerts featuring the University of Huddersfield Brass Band and various choral concerts, including Yorkshire Three Choirs Festival which features the choirs of Wakefield Cathedral, Leeds Parish Church and Ripon Cathedral.

    Special anniversaries this season include the centenary of the birth of Messiaen in 1908 and the 200th birthday of Mendelssohn in 2009, both of which are reflected in the series and the season closes with William Lloyd Webber's exquisite Passiontide Cantata The Saviour, a work which is rarely heard in live performance.

    For a Leeds Lunchtime Organ Music 2008/09 leaflet call 0113 247 8336 or pick one up from the Town Hall. For further information please contact: Liz Fox, Senior Music Officer, Leeds International Concert Season Tel. 0113 395 2147 or email

  • Leeds Parish Church
    News Item added: 7th September
    The Friends of the Music of Leeds Parish Church announce the return of Friday Organ Concerts throughout September 2008, at 12.30pm at Leeds Parish Church. Simon Lindley will be the organist.

  • Hearing Them How They Should Be Heard
    News Item added: 7th September
    What DID barrel organs and the like sound like when played on the streets? Now's your chance to find out at The Musical Museum (Brentford, West London) on the weekend of 13 and 14 September!

    'Street and Barrel organs were designed to play outside and grab the attention of passers- by; and that's just what we'll be doing over our organised weekend', explains Michael Ryder, chairman of the Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of automatic musical instruments in the world. 'People walking past the Museum will hear a Tomasso Street Barrel Piano, a Chiappa Street Barrel Organ, a Buskers Street Reed Organ, a modern McCarthy Street Organ and a VerBeek Organ all being put through their paces, along with a traditional wind-up 78 portable gramophone. Happily, in view of the current weather they will all be safely under cover, under a canopy, in our gardens. There will be no charge for visiting this outside area and enjoying the music'.

    The Musical Museum at 399 High Street, Brentford TW8 0DU is open Tuesday to Sunday each week from 11.00-17.30 (last admissions 16.00). Standard entry is £7.00; Concessions (UB40, Student card, Pensioners): £5.50; Children under 16: free (but all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult). There is disabled access to all areas.

    The Museum's telephone number is 020 8560 8108 and further information can be found on its website at

  • Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
    News Item added: 7th September
    Two Inaugural Concerts are being held to celebrate the reconstructed organ incorporating newly installed Binns pipe work.

    Saturday September 13th at 2.30pm

    Philip Luke and distinguished musicians from within the Bloomsbury congregation celebrate the “new organ” and Philip's 25 year anniversary. The programme will include: Jongen -Sonata Eroica; Vierne-Carillon de Westminster; Lanquetuit- Toccata; Bonnet - Concert Variations; Bach; Albinoni - 'Adagio'.

    Wednesday October 8th at 7.30pm

    With Carlo Curley, International Concert Organist.

    About the Organ

    The organ amalgamates two redundant Binns instruments: Beechen Grove Baptist Church, Watford and St Augustine's Tonge Moor, Bolton . A small amount of non-Binns pipework has been retained. The imaginative scheme has been carried out by BC Shepherd and Sons in collaboration with JH Males.

    Future Events in 2009 include: Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin ( Paris ) and Cameron Carpenter ( USA ). For further details phone 020 7240 0544 or visit

  • Open Rehearsal: Choir invites Singers to join in and join up Friday 26 September 2008, 7:15pm - 10pm Fortismere School South Wing, Tetherdown, N10
    News Item added: 7th September
    Keen singers are offered the chance to express themselves when Crouch End Festival Chorus throws open its doors for its next Open Rehearsal on Friday 26th September, at Fortismere School. The event, part of the London-wide Open Rehearsal initiative, is a friendly and relaxed opportunity to see what it would be like to sing in this innovative and high profile choir. Led by CEFC's conductor David Temple the Open Rehearsal will focus on Bach's masterpiece Mass in B Minor (which the choir performs at the Barbican on 25 October). Music will be provided, and for those interested in joining there will be the chance to arrange an audition. CEFC's singers are all amateurs, mainly living and working in the north London area. They frequently perform on London's great stages with world-class artists. Just this summer, the chorus has appeared at the BBC Proms, performed outdoor concerts with The Kinks' Ray Davies, and performed Stravinsky and Prokofiev at the prestigious Barbican Hall, one of the chorus's regular venues. On 14 September the choir will sing at Andrew Lloyd Webber's birthday concert in Hyde Park. Singers who join the choir have exciting opportunities ahead. Next year the chorus celebrates its 25th anniversary with many high profile concerts planned. And in December, singers will support Katherine Jenkins at the Royal Albert Hall.

    Interested singers can contact Lou Turner on 07775 770 264 or email - or can simply turn up on the night.