Mark Venning

Mark’s interest in organs began in the 1940s in rural Wiltshire where he lived with mother and piano.  Early on he discovered the superb Victorian organs in local churches, and he played for his first church service at the age of eight.

After a classical and musical education he taught music for a while, before moving to Durham on April Fool’s Day 1972 to join Harrison & Harrison.  He arrived with his wife, Katherine, who retired in 2009 after two decades as Administrator of H&H.  They have four children. Mark became Managing Director in 1975, and worked happily with Cuthbert Harrison until Cuthbert’s death in 1991, when he also became Chairman.  From 1994 to 2000 he was President of the International Society of Organ Builders.

Mark retired as Managing Director in 2011 and moved with Katherine to Wiltshire, where he enjoys playing eight of those village organs on Sundays.  He continued to serve as Chairman until retiring from that position in 2023.  He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and in 2013 was awarded the College’s Medal for his contributions to the organ world.