La Revolte storms through Westminster Cathedral

November 29, 2019

Jean Guillou was a composer, improviser and performer frustrated by the lack of vision for the future of the organ as an instrument. His thoughts on how the organ could develop outside of the church and religion led to a remarkable 25-minute piece La revolte des orgues, which was given its UK premiere this month in Westminster Cathedral, as part of a nine-organ extravaganza, presented by the Cathedral in association with the RCO and Viscount Classical Organs.

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So what does an organ consultant actually do?

November 19, 2019

Because pipe organs are so long-lived, the need to commission a new one, or renovate an old one, doesn't arise very often.  However when work is needed, an adviser is required with answers to all the ensuing musical, technical, acoustical, architectural and historical questions. The Association of Independent Organ Advisers (AIOA) exists to provide and accredit these experienced specialists. Organist Tom Bell talks about his own organ consultancy work towards becoming an accredited AIOA member.

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Nine organs, one concert: La Revolte des Orgues at Westminster Cathedral

October 23, 2019

Performers from six European countries will come together in Westminster Cathedral on 20th November, to perform the UK premiere of Jean Guillou's spectacular La Révolte des Orgues, a 25-minute piece for percussion, and no fewer than nine organs.  Some of the musicians have played La Révolte before, but not all, and rehearsal time is limited, starting on 17th November, when Viscount Organs will install seven digital instruments, to add to the Cathedral's Apse and Grand pipe organs.

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Improve your conducting skills with top choral trainer David Hill

October 8, 2019

If, like many organists, you are already leading a choir, but feel diffident about your conducting technique, then join an exceptional RCO choir training workshop coming up in November.  David Hill, one of the country's leading choral trainers, will be directing a day workshop on choral conducting on Saturday 2nd November, in St Mary's Church in Newark. Experienced choral conductors will have the opportunity to take their conducting skills to the next level, and there are plenty of places for observers.

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Young Hungarian organist wins Northern Ireland competition

September 30, 2019

Ivan-Bogdan Reincke, 21, from Hungary has won first prize in the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition (NIIOC), held at St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh, in August this year. This is the ninth year of the NIIOC, and this year competitors came from the USA and Australia for the first time, as well as six European countries.

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RCO students explore the Cavaille-Coll organs of Paris

September 20, 2019

This year's RCO study trip was focused around organ music of the French Romantic period, in particular the music of Jean Langlais and Oliver Messiaen.  Twelve RCO students, led by RCO tutor Richard Brasier, visited four churches in the center of Paris over several days in June, to play on instruments by the builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.  Rachel Pickering was one of these students, and she sent us this account of the trip.

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Oh, so sixties! – British mid-century composers revisited

September 12, 2019

The British organ world of the 1960s was shaken up by a generation of new, iconoclastic composers, and James Parsons leads an RCO class exploring this music in Newcastle, this October, on the Kenneth Tickell organ at St Mary's RC Cathedral. If you think this music is difficult and daunting, think again - James has approachable and engaging suggestions of repertoire for the class for you to explore.

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Richard Brasier plays the complete organ works of Bach

August 28, 2019

This autumn Richard Brasier embarks on a series of one-hour recitals in which he will perform all the known organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach.  The series will take two years to complete, and it starts on 4th October 2019. We asked Richard how he prepares for such a mammoth undertaking.

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Organ wizardry for all ages at OrganFest 2019

August 7, 2019

This year's OrganFest in Cardiff is offering a perfect opportunity to introduce youngsters to the organ. David Pipe on the organ with John Biddle as narrator, along with Jeremy Sampson, curator of the WOOFYT, present all sorts of wizardry and magic in a concert for the whole family on the morning of Saturday, 7th September.

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