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  • Phase three

    Having started the year with a visits to St Andrews University (Scotland) and the Eastman School of Music (USA) to give a a talk on Bach's Leipzig Collection, and with the end of another academic year now almost in sight, I'm preparing for performances in some of Europe's finest festivals this summer. I'm very pleased to be playing a very small part in the Three Choirs Festival's 300th year with a Bach masterclass in my home town of Hereford (and locally in festivals in Bromsgrove and Ludlow). 

    Further afield, I'm excited about the prospect of playing some of the finest historic instruments in Germany: including as part 300 year celebrations of the famous Silbermann organ at Freiberg Cathedral; the International series on the celebrated Hildebrandt organ in Naumburg; as part of the Merseburg Cathedral's 1000 year celebrations, two concerts on the beautiful Ladegast organ. I'm also performing on fine modern instruments: including as part of international series at the Stiftskirche Stuttgart and Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany, Haderslev Cathedral in Denmark, Tokyo Metropolitan Arts Theatre in Japan and a return visit to play three concerts on the lovely William Drake organ in the crypt St Paul's Cathedral in the autumn. As well as Bach programmes, I will be playing a programme entitled "Great Danes" that celebrates Carl Nielsen's anniversary this year. As part of Birmingham's 'Organfest' in September, I will be co-directing the Royal College of Organists Organ Forum with distinguished Italian organist and harpsichordist, Lorenzo Ghielmi; this year investigating the music of Nikolaus Bruhns in this the 350th anniversary of his birth.

     

  • Phase Two

    Last night I completed the second phase of my Bach project on the superb Drake organ in the  OBE Chapel at St Paul's Cathedral. This cycle of concerts began back in September with a programme including sonatas by JS and CPE Bach on Carsten Lund's marvellous reconstruction of the 1724 Kastens organ in the Garnisonskirken in Copenhagen followed by an enjoyable day working with students from the Royal Danish Academy of Music. My thanks to Hans Westenholz and Bine Bryndorf for hosting me for some wonderful days in this beautiful city.

    Early October saw a visit to The Hague to perform the Schübler Chorales and other works on the Bätz Organ of 1762 in the Lutheran Church and to give two Bach Masterclasses to students from the Rotterdam Conservatorium in the Grote Kerk (Metzler organ) and Oud-Katholieke Kerk (Garrels-organ). Many thanks to colleagues Aart Bergwerff, Bas de Vroome and Ben van Oosten for attending and making me so welcome and hosts Mr and Mrs Baaima and Nigel Lamb for their help and hospitality.

    Over the past three Mondays I have performed Bach's Orgelbüchlein with other free and chorale-based works at St Paul's Cathedral. I would particularly like to thank the three wonderful sopranos who joined me and whose presence and singing helped to make these concerts memorable: Elizabeth Weisberg, Cecilia Osmond and Rebecca Outram. Thanks too to Simon Johnson and Andrew Carwood for hosting me and to Angela Palotai for ensuring everything ran smoothly. It was great to meet Peter, Rachel and Tom during my time here too - a great team of musicians! Finally, my thanks to friends family and students who made the journey to these concerts.

    Some short excerpts from The Hague:

    Wachet_auf.mp3

    wo_soll_ich fliehen hin.mp3

    wer_nur_den_lieben_Gott_laesst_walten.mp3

    mag.mp3

    ach_bleib bei uns.mp3

    kommst_du_nun_Jesu.mp3

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