Click tabs and headings for further information
The June issue of Organists’ Review is now available, in which you can read all about the building and installation of the new quire organ in Canterbury Cathedral.
Advice regarding organs being put out of use during the COVID-19 lockdown
Some clients have asked us whether they should be concerned about organs being placed out of use during the lockdown. With the lockdown having been recently extended and organs not having been used in worship in many cases for a month now, we have decided to offer this information more widely.
Click the link for the PDF document containing all information and links to relevant websites at the bottom of the page.
We are pleased to announce that we have been commissioned to build a new 86-stop instrument for Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA.
The organ is to be entirely new, retaining only the bottom octave of the Sub Bourdon, the Chimes and Harp from the present instrument.
Installation is planned for 2022.
Further details can be found here:
Due to Covid 19 the venue has been postponed until September 2021 – go to http://northamptonorganists.org.uk/ for the latest information
Welcome to the Midlands Organ Day 2020, based at St. Matthew’s, Northampton – sponsored by Harrison & Harrison.
The Northampton & District Organists’ Association invite you to a unique day focused on skills central to our roles as organists – playing for the liturgy, which is sponsored by Harrison and Harrison and Church Organ World and in which Harrison & Harrison’s own Andrew Reid will be participating.
The day will be structured around insightful masterclasses facilitated by outstanding international organists and choir trainers including Harrison & Harrison’s own MD, all with a connection to Northampton:
Simon Johnson, Organist and Assistant Director of Music, St. Paul’s Cathedral;
Richard Pinel, Fellow and Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge, and
Andrew Reid, Managing Director of Harrison & Harrison.
Callum Alger, Organ Scholar at Westminster Cathedral and winner of the inaugural IAO/RCO Organ Playing Competition will also demonstrate the organ.
The daytime event will conclude with a performance of the pieces rehearsed during the masterclasses.
Later in the day, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the iconic J. W. Walker organ at St. Matthew’s, – once described as ‘the finest parish church organ in England’ – which was restored in 2005/6 by Harrison & Harrison jointly with Kenneth Tickell & Co., and is maintained by Harrison & Harrison. We would love you to stay and hear a celebrity recital where all four of our artists – Simon, Richard, Andrew and Callum will showcase the organ.
We promise you an outstanding and enjoyable day, and do hope you will join us.
You can find out more details and purchase tickets online, (or download a postal booking form) by following this link to the Northampton & District Organists’ Association website:
Past President and Chair Midlands Organ Day Subcommittee
Click the links to see the articles from the following newspapers of H&H’s work on the York Minster organ A lovely Christmas lunch was served up to all the staff courtesy of H&H. It is with great sadness that King’s College has learned of the death of Sir Stephen Cleobury. Stephen died in his hometown of York on the 22nd November, after a long illness. Salisbury Cathedral It’s a mammoth task reinstalling the 4,000 pipes that make up the famous Salisbury organ. Watch H&H organ builders doing it in a flash! It's a mammoth task reinstalling the 4,000 pipes that make up our famous organ. Watch it being done in a flash! Video courtesy of Salisbury Cathedral Thirty decorative case pipes, which date from 1832 and are among the oldest surviving pipes in the existing organ, are being auctioned to raise funds for the current once-a-century, £2m project to refurbish the instrument. Click HERE to read more The new organ is now finally installed. https://www.facebook.com/No1Cathedral/videos/1573685059438214/ Video courtesy of Canterbury Cathedral Organist: Alexander Ffinch Click HERE for more details and to purchase 21st Mar Refurbishment crucial to keep organ at heart of York Minster Click HERE to view 20th Mar Inside the anonymous workshop that’s temporary home to the Grand Organs from three cathedrals. Click HERE to view In-house video of Nigel and Kelvin turning up the second from the top resonator section for CCCC of the 32ft Double Ophicleide – 324mm Ø at CCCC. York MinsterNigel and Kelvin turning up the second from the top resonator section for CCCC of the 32ft Double Ophicleide - 324mm Ø at CCCC.
Guardian – Photo of the day
– News in pictures
Timelapse: Reinstalling the Father Willis Organ
Composers: Franz Liszt, Jonathan Dove, Joseph Jongen
Release Date: July 2019
Click the links to see the articles from the following newspapers
of H&H’s work on the York Minster organ
A lovely Christmas lunch was served up to all the staff courtesy of H&H.
It is with great sadness that King’s College has learned of the death of Sir Stephen Cleobury. Stephen died in his hometown of York on the 22nd November, after a long illness.
It’s a mammoth task reinstalling the 4,000 pipes that make up the famous Salisbury organ. Watch H&H organ builders doing it in a flash!
It's a mammoth task reinstalling the 4,000 pipes that make up our famous organ. Watch it being done in a flash!Posted by Salisbury Cathedral on Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Video courtesy of Salisbury Cathedral
Thirty decorative case pipes, which date from 1832 and are among the oldest surviving pipes in the existing organ, are being auctioned to raise funds for the current once-a-century, £2m project to refurbish the instrument. Click HERE to read more
The new organ is now finally installed.
Video courtesy of Canterbury Cathedral
Organist: Alexander Ffinch
Click HERE for more details and to purchase
Refurbishment crucial to keep organ at heart of York Minster
Click HERE to view
Inside the anonymous workshop that’s temporary home to the Grand Organs from three cathedrals.
Click HERE to view
In-house video of Nigel and Kelvin turning up the second from the top resonator section for CCCC of the 32ft Double Ophicleide – 324mm Ø at CCCC.
York MinsterNigel and Kelvin turning up the second from the top resonator section for CCCC of the 32ft Double Ophicleide - 324mm Ø at CCCC.Posted by Harrison & Harrison Ltd on Thursday, August 22, 2019
Inside the anonymous workshop (The Yorkshire Post)
The first session of site voicing is now finished and the organ is now silent until voicing resumes after the installation of the south side.
In the meantime, as you still have a long time to wait to hear it, for those not fortunate to have heard it in the flesh during the work over the past five weeks, here is a very brief musical tour of things so far to whet your appetite.
Choir 3 ½”
Transept Great 5”
Solo HP 20”
Pedal Open Woods 6”
(We have deliberately omitted including the Open Woods in this demo, as a compressed iPhone video recording does not capture them.)
Click HERE to see our Video page for video updates
Old Gold – an article by Chris Bragg on the organ at St Bride’s Episcopal Church, Hyndland, Glasgow
Choir & Organ Magazine. (CLICK HERE to read the article and your free digital edition of Choir & Organ. Please submit your email in the box provided on the page to gain access.
Cathedral Dreaming – St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide
Your Cathedral – Cathedral notes Click HERE to view pdf
St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide – How to restore an organ with more than 3,300 pipes
Click here to view
Tuner vacancies have been added to our vacancy page (Click HERE)
St Peter’s Cathedral organ gets a special tune up after 90 years of music – Click Here to read ABC Net.AU
Helen Thorndyke has been helping us out in the Finance Department since August and has now been appointed as Finance Manager and Company Secretary at H&H.
The St Peter’s Cathedral organ, Adelaide is now back in Australia and the H&H team have begun the reinstallation. See St Peter’s Cathedral Facebook page for Videos and images
- Daily cleaning of workshop and facilities
- General housekeeping of the site, including car park, sheds, and upper areas of workshop
- Helping with loading and unloading and deliveries
- Packing of organ components when necessary
- Regular cleaning and checking of company vehicles
- Collection of local materials
- Painting and decorating as required
- Other tasks as required
- Possibility of occasional work at other locations if suitable to the applicant
- Possibility of overtime work at certain times
- Able to accept direction
- A person with initiative, able to self-motivate and take ownership of tasks
- Hard working, reliable and trustworthy
- Able to lift and carry and undertake manual labour
- Able to handle delicate or easily damaged parts with care
- Resourceful and flexible
- Able to work relationally with colleagues, and a good communicator
- Full UK driving licence
- 39 hours per week (usual pattern: 8 hours Monday to Thursday, 7 on a Friday)
- Rate of pay £8.34 per hour (2018 rates, reviewed annually)
- 25 days’ holiday per year plus 8 Bank Holidays
- Based at our workshop in Meadowfield
Applications should be received by 12:00 on Monday 8th October 2018. Please include a CV and a short letter stating the reasons for your interest in the post. Please send to:
Harrison & Harrison
St John’s Road
Or via email to: email@example.com
The Inauguration of the restored Hill organ by H&H will be held on Saturday 28th April at 7:30pm.
For more information click HERE
There will be an Organ concert at St Michael & All Angels, Houghton-le-Spring on Monday 14th May 2018.
Dr Gordon Stewart (Organist Huddersfield Town Hal) will be playing the organ.
The concert starts at 7pm and admission is £7 at the door.
Andrew Scott, H & H Head Voicer gave a talk to Oundle’s 32 POTS students about how organs work which was followed by Daniel Moult and David Pipe closing the day with a short joint recital.
History of famous Durham firm to be explored in record office talk
A talk focusing on the history of a renowned organ-building firm in Durham was held on Thursday, 9 November.
New Managing Director
Mark Venning, Chairman of H&H, writes:
I join everyone at H&H in welcoming Andrew Reid, who has taken up the reins on 16th October as our Managing Director.
Andrew brings much valuable experience to the firm from his professional life as a church musician, and for the past five years as Director of the Royal School of Church Music. He knows our work well, notably through his previous posts at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Peterborough Cathedral, where he was Director of Music for eight years. I have known him since he worked for H&H as a tuner’s assistant nearly 30 years ago. A fuller biography will be found in the People section.
We wish Andrew and his family all the best as they settle into their new home in the North-east. I hope he will find life among the organ builders as rewarding and enjoyable as I have.
New Managing Director
We looked forward to welcoming Andrew Reid as Harrison & Harrison’s new Managing Director in the autumn. He succeeded Dr Chris Batchelor, who stepped down on 21st July after 6½ years at the helm. Andrew was Director of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).
Andrew’s interest in organ building began with the acquisition of a small Victorian pipe organ at home while he was still a teenager. He worked part-time for H&H after leaving school in 1989, holding notes for our tuner in the Midlands. He began organ lessons at the age of 9, and was taught by David Sanger and Peter Hurford whilst at Cambridge, graduating with a music degree and an MPhil in Musicology. He achieved his FRCO as a prize-winner, and performed the complete organ works of JS Bach in one marathon 25-hour recital.
As Assistant Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral from 1996 he was organist on several notable discs, including the first recording of James MacMillan’s Mass. In 2000 he became Sub Organist of Westminster Abbey, where he played the organ for many major services including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Andrew then became Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral for eight years from 2004. During his time there, he established a choir of junior girl choristers and managed the transition of chorister education for boys and girls to a new junior department at The King’s School, Peterborough. Highlights with the Peterborough choir included concerts, tours, recordings and radio broadcasts, and two televised Christmas Eucharists in 2008.
During the past five years at the RSCM, in collaboration with the Council, Andrew and his management team have revitalised the education programme and strengthened the charity’s financial stability, enabling it to provide for the diverse needs of church musicians on a more progressive footing, and concentrating its mission on music in Christian worship.
Andrew will now move to the north-east with Louise and their four children to join H&H as Managing Director. In this role he hopes to contribute, through his past experience, to the maintenance and development of the firm’s reputation for excellence in organ building both in Britain and abroad.
IBO Voicing Course
A voicing course was held at H&H on the 11th/12th May. Running the course was Andrew Scott, Head Voicer for H&H and Michael Blighton, Head Voicer for Mander Organs.
Below are some images of the course attendees learning about voicing.
Group 1 – Abi-Balfour Rowley, Mike Edwards, Ashley Tooze, Richard Young with Andrew Scott
Group 2 – Ethan Edwards, Michael Farley, Malcolm Lightbown with Michael Blighton
Restoration Time Lapse video of King’s
Click HERE to see a Restoration Time Lapse video of King’s College organ shared from the ‘Choir of King’s College, Cambridge’ Facebook Page
Christopher Batchelor to leave H&H
Mark Venning, Chairman of H&H, writes:
After 6½ years as managing director, my colleague Dr Christopher Batchelor will be leaving H&H on 21st July 2017 in order to pursue and develop his musical interests from his home base in London.
Chris oversaw a series of highly successful projects for H&H. He will leave the firm in good shape, with a healthy order book for work in the UK and overseas, and a strong team of organ builders led by Duncan Mathews and Andrew Scott. I would like to thank him for the good work he has done; he will leave with our good wishes.
As announced separately, Chris’s successor, Andrew Reid, will join us in the Autumn. In the interim there will of course be continuity for all of our current work. As chairman I look forward to overseeing the next stage in the firm’s history, and will be available to assist as required throughout the transitional period and beyond.
It was a great pleasure to take on the role of Managing Director of H&H in 2011.
The recession which hit organ building worldwide shortly thereafter was particularly difficult for large firms, but with a lot of hard teamwork we got through it, and I’m very pleased that we now have an extremely strong order book.
Along the way, we built more mechanical-action organs including Edington, Hakadal and Bedford and moved into new markets, including Norway and Kenya, whilst also rekindling business in Nigeria.
Throughout my time with H&H I have continued to live in London at weekends with my family, retaining my positions as Director of Music at St Pancras Church and Artistic Director of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. I also served for four years as President of the Institute of British Organ Building.
I’ve decided that the time has now come for me to return home permanently. Of course, leaving H&H is not an easy decision (though I won’t miss the commute!) but having played a significant part in the success of the 2016 congress of the International Society of Organ Builders, overseen the highly acclaimed restoration of our 1934 organ in King’s College Cambridge and a with full order book, this is as good a moment as any. As you would expect, I shall leave with many happy memories.
I very much hope to retain a positive relationship with the firm over the coming years. For those who wish to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Christopher Batchelor
After 10 years of service team leader Jaroslav Strasovski is now leaving H&H to live and work in New Zealand. After Duncan’s farewell speech, Chris Batchelor presented Jaroslav with a farewell gift from all his colleagues.
We all wish Jaroslav all the best for the future.
James Lancelot, Organist at Durham Cathedral and Master of the Choristers, has announced his retirement. Click HERE to read full article
- JS Bach Fantasia & Fugue in G minor BWV542
- Duruflé Requiem
- Karg Elert Fuge, Kanzone & Epilog Op.85 No.3
- Poulenc Organ Concerto
Stephen Cleobury CBE conductor
Thomas Trotter organ
Thomas Gould violin
Jennifer Johnston mezzo-soprano
Choir of King’s College Cambridge
Acclaimed organist, Thomas Trotter, returns for the first concert on the newly-restored organ at King’s College. Audience favourites include the Poulenc Organ Concerto and Durufle’s plainsong-inspired Requiem.
Trotter’s performances are simply the best … with innate musical taste and breath-taking virtuosity. One of the greatest living organists.’
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Recital at King’s College, Cambridge
On the 4th October, Internationally-renowned organist Nathan Laube played the first public recital on the King’s College organ since its major restoration by H&H.
We would like to welcome Melinda Hampton to H&H, who has taken on the role of Secretary.
Dot retires from H&H
Today was the last day of work for our Office Manager Dot Henderson. After 21 years of service she is now leaving H&H to enjoy retirement with her husband John, who also leaves H&H today. We will miss them both but wish them well.
After the speeches were over we enjoyed a lovely BBQ meal inside and a few soft drinks to send them on their way (shame the weather hadn’t been kind enough for them to have it outside).
Some details of the position of Secretary.
The Company, established in 1861, employs 55 people, most of whom are skilled craftsmen, building and maintaining pipe organs throughout the U.K. and abroad. Our office and workshop are in St John’s Road, Meadowfield, Durham.
All of our organs are bespoke, and we offer individual service to each customer. As the Secretary you will provide clerical and administrative support in order to ensure that the office runs smoothly. You will assist colleagues and management by supporting them with planning and distributing information. You will be the first point of contact on the telephone with clients including musicians, clergy and architects. You will be a key part of a small team working closely with the Operations Manager.
- Proven experience as a secretary or administrative assistant with a minimum of 5 years experience
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Attention to detail and a well-organised approach to work
- Familiar with office organisation and procedures
- Able to multi-task and prioritise areas of work
- Proficiency in MS Office
- A friendly and diplomatic approach and the confidence to liaise with colleagues and customers at all levels
- Integrity and discretion when handling confidential information
- Able to work under own initiative when required
- Ability to take shorthand notes
- Audio typing
- Interest in music, churches and pipe organs
This is a full-time position.
Salary will be £20,000 to £25,000 depending on experience.
Applications and enquiries may be made, together with a CV, to:
Jeremy Maritz, Operations Manager
Harrison & Harrison Ltd
St John’s Road
Tel: 0191 378 2222
Applications close 10 June 2016
A series of lunchtime concerts for early 2016 on the restored 1876 Father Willis organ. Tickets £6.50 (inc. booking fee)
(Click HERE for details)
|John Bishop’s column “In the wind” (Click Here to read)||The Diapason||July 2016|
Piping Up – All Saints Blackheath
(Click HERE to view article)
|Colchester, Moot Hall
Plant Life – News from the shop floor. (Click here to read)
|Choir & Organ magazine||July – Aug 2015 issue|
Left to right: Mark Venning (Chairman), Nigel Turner, Rob Newton, Lee Berriman, Jim Reeves, Kelvin Kent and Christopher Batchelor (Managing Director)
|Choir & Organ Magazine||May-Jun 2015 issue|
Pipe Dream come true –
|Essex County Standard Newspaper||13th Feb 2015|
Click Here to see the article in the Gazette newspaper too
|Gazette (online)||13th Feb 2015|
Temple Winter Festival – Organ Recital
An organ recital was held on December 18th by Greg Morris. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and the programme included Organ Masterpieces from Nordic Europe:
- Dietrich Buxtehude Nun komm der Heiden Heilan
- Nikolaus Bruhns Nun komm der Heiden Heiland
- Arvo Pärt Annum per annum
- Dietrich Buxtehude Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern
- Johan Helmich Roman Drottningholm smusiken (1st mvt)
- Carl Nielsen Commotio
David Chapman 1935-2015
We were very sorry to announce that David Chapman had died on 29th November. He was held in great affection by his colleagues at H&H, and his sterling work as our London tuner from 1981 to 2000 made him many friends in the organ world.
David’s funeral was held on Tuesday 15th December at Stanford-on-Soar Parish Church, near Loughborough.
Cambridge, Kings’ College
To mark the forthcoming restoration of the organ, an Organ Gala was held in the Chapel on 11th November. It was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The Programme included:
- Widor: Toccata arr. Willcocks
- Saint Saëns: Organ Symphony
- Berlioz: Te Deum
King’s College Choir
Cambridge University Musical Society Chorus
BBC Concert Orchestra
John Daszak, tenor
Thomas Trotter, organ
Stephen Cleobury, conductor
The Harrison organ of St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle is 50 years old this year. To mark the occasion, Roger Judd, former Assistant Organist, has written a comprehensive History of all the Castle organs, and Richard Pinel, the current Assistant Director of Music, has made a CD of music by Vierne, Roger-Ducasse and Duruflé. The book and CD, which can be purchased from the Castle shop, were launched in festive style after Evensong on Wednesday 24th November, when Roger spoke about the organs and Richard played some of the music.
The new CD is entitled, L’Orgue Symphonique
Louis Vierne: Symphonie No 2
Jean Roger-Ducasse: Pastorale
Maurice Duruflé: Suite, Op. 5
Richard Pinel plays the organ of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle Resonus RES10160
A music festival was held at Blackheath, All Saints’ Church from Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November.
The music festival included pieces by composers including Bach and Messiaen showed off the stunning sound of the restored organ in the Inaugural Organ Recital on Friday.
To open the programme on Saturday evening was the Sebastian Forbes commission by H&H, a lovely Chorale Prelude.
On Sunday, the Bishop of Southwark preached at Choral Evensong and rededicated the organ. Specially commissioned pieces were sung by the choir.
To see an article regarding the Music Festival Click HERE
Eastbourne, All Saints’
An organ recital in Aid of the organ fund was held at All Saints’ Church, Eastbourne on Saturday 3rd October, by Gerard Brooks, International Concert Organist
The magnificent organ at All Saints’ is considered one of the finest in the south east. The exceptional voicing and character of the instrument provides the church with a small-scale cathedral organ. Gerard Brooks had chosen a programme especially suited to this instrument. The opening work was the Concert Overture in C Minor by Hollins using the full resources of the instrument to great effect. Other composers included Schumann, Widor, Lloyd Webber, Guilmant and Saint-Saëns.
Grand Temple, Freemasons’ Hall, London
An Inaugural Concert with Thomas Trotter, Organist of St Margaret’s Westminster Abbey and Birmingham City was held on 30th September 2015 at 7pm. Listeners were invited to this free event, with works ranging from Bach and Mozart to Coates and Goss-Custard. The programme was very wide ranging and designed to show off the brand new “Grand” Division of this impressive three-manual instrument.
Mr Robert Green, who attended the concert said “It was a splendid occasion, a large and highly appreciative audience heard Thomas Trotter give a masterly demonstration of the instrument. He chose to use the J.S.B. F maj. Toccata to demonstrate the old and new sections to great effect. It all sounded absolutely splendid“
Union Chapel, Islington
Saturday 19th September 4pm
Open House Weekend
A whistle stop tour around the organ with Rob Rowley
‘Ever wondered exactly how the organ works? As part of Open House Weekend Rob Rowley from Harrison & Harrison explores the ‘Father’ Willis organ. Including an introductory talk about the organ’s Victorian builder and the recent restoration work, a whistle stop tour around the organ showing how each part works along with some entertaining music demonstrating the diverse range sounds the organ can produce.’
St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College
Organ recital at St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, Ushaw College: Allan Coombes, Organist of St. Margaret’s Parish Church, Crossgate, Durham – Saturday, 19 September at 2.30pm.
Allan studied organ with Hector C. Parr at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Darlington. After a brief flirtation with Science at University, he resumed organ studies with Hector Parr, obtaining the diploma of Licentiate of Trinity College London. Further tuition followed with John Scott Whiteley at York Minster. He has been organist at St. Margaret of Antioch Parish Church in Durham for more than 20 years, and has worked widely as piano and organ accompanist with soloists and choirs in the region.
Ushaw College was founded over two hundred years ago and has a rich and fascinating history, with some of the finest Victorian architecture in the North East, with many of the buildings designed by the illustrious Pugin family – surprisingly however, it is relatively unknown. The organ recital series, held in the magnificent setting of St. Cuthbert’s Chapel, is just one of an exciting and varied programme of cultural events happening throughout the course of the year. Other events include folk, classical, jazz and choral music, plus talks, plays, exhibitions and choral services. Click HERE to see poster
Inaugural concerts in May
There were two Inaugural concerts held in May 2015.
Glasgow, Cottier Theatre III/31
Recitalist: John Kitchen
(Edinburgh City Organist)Date: 20th May 2015
Colchester Moot Hall III/30
Recitalist: David Drinkell (Director of Music
at St John the Baptist Newfoundland, Canada)
Date: 21st May 2015
The workmanship is wonderful to behold, and I have been much impressed by the immense care that everyone, from John Richardson at the design stage to the team completing the final installation yesterday, took in the preparation and execution of the work. H&H have managed to deal with every quirk of the building, how it works and the various interruptions from other trades that threatened to derail the process from time to time. The team, so ably led by Michael Clough, have been terrific and such fun!
Grand Temple, Freemasons’ Hall, London
The front panel of the console was placed in position on 01/04/15.
An Inaugural Concert with Thomas Trotter will be held on 30th September 2015.
Durham Cathedral organ live on Radio 3
On Sunday 10th May at 7.30pm, James Lancelot gave a live
recital as part of the BBC’s Radio 3’s ‘Live in Concert’ series.
The concert was streamed over the internet in HD sound,
and is available online until 9th June 2015.
James performed the following programme:
- Passacaglia in C minor – Johann Sebastian Bach
- Sonata No 1 – Paul Hindemith
- Paean – Kenneth Leighton
- Plymouth Suite – Percy Whitlock
- Sonata on the 94th Psalm – Julius Reubke
Inaugural Recital at Exeter Cathedral (26/01/2015)
On 4th February 2015 several members of the H&H team travelled to Exeter to hear John Scott put the organ through its paces at the Opening Recital. The event was well attended, the cathedral nave being full, and all enjoyed a remarkable programme in which the full resources of the organ were thoroughly explored. It was particularly interesting to hear the premiere of the Chorale Prelude: Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeloid by Martyn Harry, which was commissioned by H&H for this occasion as part of the Orgelbüchlein project. The evening was a rousing success, and both the Dean and John Scott spoke highly of the work and the success of the instrument.
Harrison & Harrison join the social media network (06/01/2015)
A new generation of organ builders perhaps! (Monday 22nd Dec 2014)
Some of H&H’s staff had their children visiting the workshop today to help build the second part of the ‘Lego’ Durham Cathedral organ; part of the Durham LEGO Cathedral fundraising project. A fun day was had by all.
Who knows, this could be the making of a new generation of organ builders.
Below are some photos of the day.
Exeter Cathedral (2nd Dec 2014)
The newly refurbished Exeter Cathedral organ was used for the first time at the Advent carol service on Sunday 30th November 2014. There were positive comments from Exeter and also from others who heard the organ. The inaugural recital will be given by John Scott on Wednesday 4th February 2015 at 7:30pm.
Organ builders create tiny replica as part of Durham Cathedral’s Lego fundraising project (19th Nov 2014)
Harrison and Harrison Organ Builders turned their hands to a different material to remodel their creation in miniature. Harrison & Harrison are the latest company to take part in the project creating Durham’s Lego Cathedral – which aims to help raise £350,000 towards the public appeal for this current phase of Open Treasure. (Click here)
The 2015 Choir & Organ calendar is available for pre-order. Full colour A3 calendar including full specifications for each organ. The calendar features H&H’s wonderful Exeter Cathedral organ. Click here to pre-order your copy now.
Organ Recital at Edington Priory
An Organ Recital by Benjamin Nicholas, Reed Rubin Organist and Director of Music at Merton College Oxford, and Director of the Edington Music Festival. This recital at Edington Priory is part of the Royal College of Organists’ 150th Anniversary celebrations. Tickets are £15, (front nave and south side choir stalls) £10 (rear nave) and £8 (sides), (18 and under come free); email email@example.com
The new Harrison organ (see spec) was launched amid great liturgical splendour at the Edington Festival of Music in the Liturgy from 17 to 24 August. There were daily organ recitals in addition to the rich sequence of services, which included a BBC broadcast. On 23rd August the organ was dedicated by the Bishop of Ramsbury, and the inaugural recital was given by Andrew Lumsden
After four weeks voicing the new Harrison organ at Edington Priory, our Head Voicer Andrew Scott gave an informal talk and recital for parishioners on 8th April, playing a variety of pieces including Elgar’s Imperial March. The organ was used for the first time on Palm Sunday. It was inaugurated during the Edington Festival of Music in the Liturgy, from 17th to 24th August 2014.
Below are photos of the completed organ.
Photos taken by Andrew Scott
New DVD from Durham Cathedral
James Lancelot’s new DVD on the famous Harrison organ of Durham Cathedral will be available in May/June, with a panorama of organ music from four centuries – not to be missed. It can be ordered at a special pre-publication price from www.prioryrecords.co.uk
Royal Festival Hall – Gala re-opening concert
2014 Open Day
Thank you for a really excellent day at H&H yesterday. It was wonderful to meet your colleagues and so many others there to celebrate what I am convinced will be a truly outstanding instrument for Edington. It was a great thrill to see the project come (almost) to fruition, and so very much in keeping with our original vision for the organ. The instrument is full of colour – particularly on the swell division, and the recitals yesterday showed that it will play a huge range of repertoire very convincingly indeed. In such a small instrument there is a great array of both beautiful and exciting stops, and as always, it is wonderfully crafted both on the exterior and interior. I am looking forward eagerly to seeing and hearing it in situ! Please do pass on my thanks to your colleagues for making us all so welcome. There was a real buzz about the factory, and genuine excitement and enthusiasm about the Edington organ from all who attended. Ashley Grote, Master of Music, Norwich Cathedral & former Director of the Edington FestivalWe are delighted to have built the new organ for Edington Priory, a gift from the Edington Festival. The organ has now left Durham and will come into use on Palm Sunday, 13 April 2014. The instrument will be dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury during the 2014 Edington Festival. As a celebration, we held an Open Day in the workshop on Thursday 9 January 2014, during which the Edington Priory organ was played by three eminent musicians; James Lancelot, Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral; John Butt, Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and Musical Director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort; and Robert Sharpe, Director of Music at York Minster. Over 150 people attended the day. James Lancelot “It has been a thrilling experience to play the new organ for Edington Priory in the works. This instrument will not only have to support and enrich the liturgical music of the parish through the year – its principal task – but also to support the rich and varied music of the annual Edington Festival, in which it will be very much in the spotlight. To expect an instrument of such modest size to do this, with all the variation of volume and of colour required for effective interpretation of the a varied repertoire, is to expect a lot; but this organ promises to do just that, and to realise the long-held aspiration of English organists and organ builders to find multum in parvo. Such an achievement vindicates the policy of building pipe organs on traditional lines with traditional materials, carefully designed, well laid out and superbly voiced. This instrument represents yet another triumph for Harrison & Harrison, and will continue to give inspiration and delight to the Priory for generations to come.” James was born in 1952, the great-grandson of James Reginald Cousans, who founded the organ-building firm of that name in Lincoln in 1878; successive members of his family led the firm for nearly a century. In turn a Chorister of St Paul’s Cathedral, Organ Scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, and Sub-Organist of Winchester Cathedral, James took up the appointment of Master of the Choristers and Organist at Durham Cathedral in 1985. Although the post carries responsibility for the maintenance and development of the cathedral’s ministry of music, James continues to regard organ playing as central to his work. He plays the Cathedral organ regularly in its liturgical role; but he also pursues an active career as a recitalist. His recordings have won golden opinions; a recent DVD recording of Durham Cathedral organ awaits release. James enjoys custodianship of the incomparable instrument in the Cathedral, but also ownership of a five-stop practice organ built for him in 1995 by Harrison & Harrison. John Butt “It was a great privilege and pleasure to be one of the first people to play the new Edington organ. This organ achieves an ideal that many have considered impossible: an organ eclectic enough to play a broad range of repertoire (and especially music for the Anglican liturgy), yet one that also has its own character and cohesion. It sounds as a truly musical instrument, in which the parts have their individual qualities and also blend to create a magnificent plenum – I look forward to many more new mechanical action instruments from Harrison and Harrison.” John is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and Musical Director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. Having worked at the University of California, Berkeley and Cambridge University, he has always pursued a dual career as scholar and performer. His scholarly work has resulted in five monographs, concerning Bach and the Baroque, performance practice and issues of modernity and its relationship to classical music. He has recorded widely as an organist and harpsichordist and produced seven recordings as director of the Dunedin Consort (three of which have been nominated for Gramophone Awards, Handel’s Messiah winning the Baroque vocal award in 2007). Recent recordings include Bach’s John Passion, recorded for the first time with its original liturgy, and the Brandenburg Concertos as low chamber pitch. 2014 will see the release of a reconstruction of the first performance of Mozart’s Requiem and Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, played on harpsichord. In addition to his work with Dunedin, he also regularly conducts other groups such as the OAE, Irish Baroque Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Robert Sharpe “It is always exciting to see a new organ made and especially so when a workshop launch (prior to installation and final tonal finishing in the church) is combined with a jolly Open Day with around 120 musicians, organists, organ builders and enthusiasts enjoying delicious refreshments and the convivial atmosphere of Harrison and Harrison’s splendid workshop in Durham. It was a great honour to be invited to give one of the three workshop recitals on the 26-stop organ destined for Edington and most enjoyable to demonstrate this instrument’s extraordinary flexibility, tonal build-up, and beauty of tone. It will surely be a landmark new British organ when it is finished in its new home and a great celebration of the organ builder’s art and craft.” Robert has been Director of Music at York Minster since September 2008, having previously held posts at Truro Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, St Albans Abbey and Exeter College, Oxford. His work centres around the daily choral tradition of York Minster with its two treble lines of boys and girls, and the famous Minster organ. In addition he performs frequently as an organ soloist, having played in many parts of Europe and the USA as well as major venues in the UK. Recordings on the Truro Cathedral organ include Volume X of the Great Cathedral Organs series, and the complete organ music of Paul Spicer – Fanfares and Dances; both are on the Regent label. He has made numerous recordings with Truro Cathedral choir and York Minster choir, which have all received critical acclaim. Sharpe’s teachers include Roger Bryan, the late Nicholas Danby and David Sanger as well as those with whom he has had the privilege of working, most notably Andrew Lumsden, Barry Rose and Paul Spicer. Robert Sharpe has a keen interest in liturgy and music and the interplay between them, and also in food, interesting wines, real ale, architecture, clocks and furniture. He holds Fellowships of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal College of Organists and is a member of the Victorian Society and the Wine Society. In 2008, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Church Musicians and awarded the 2008 Cornwhylen Cross by the Cornish Gorsedd “for an outstanding contribution to religious music in Cornwall”. To see our pictures from the day click here
We are delighted to have built the new organ for Edington Priory, a gift from the Edington Festival. The organ will be leaving Durham in February 2014 and will come into use on Palm Sunday, 13 April 2014. The instrument will be dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury during the 2014 Edington Festival. The organ has two manuals and pedals and 26 stops. Key action is mechanical throughout and the stop action is electric. As a celebration, we are holding an Open Day in Durham on Thursday 9 January 2014, during which the instrument will be played by three eminent musicians. There will also be tours of the workshop. The schedule for the event is as follows:
10.30 Introduction and first tour 11.00 Recital In dir ist Freude: James Lancelot (Durham Cathedral) 13.15 Recital: Professor John Butt (Glasgow University) 13.45 Tour 15.00 Recital: Robert Sharpe (York Minster) 15.45 Tour
Light refreshments will be available throughout the day. If you wish to join us for this important occasion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with contact details and numbers by 3 January 2014, with an indication of your approximate arrival time. We will contact you on 6 January to confirm details.
Royal Festival Hall, ‘Pull Out All the Stops’ sponsored bike ride
With £100,000 pledged for the bike ride Rick Haythornthwaite and the Pull Out All The Stops bike ride team have managed to bridge the final gap in funding to bring the campaign’s total to the £2.3 million target required to restore this iconic instrument. Rick Haythornthwaite, Chairman of Southbank Centre, and his team of cyclists completed their 24 hour, sponsored bike ride as part of the ‘Pull Out All The Stops’ fundraising campaign. They set off at 12 noon on 20th July from the H&H workshop in Durham to bring back the final pipe to London. They finally arrived at the Royal Festival Hall at 11.58am the next day, covering nearly 300 miles. Meet the team
The organ was built in 1927 by Harrison & Harrison for the ballroom of Glen Tanar House, Aberdeenshire. Lord Glentanar presented it to the Temple Church in 1954; the layout was re-designed for the new organ chamber, and the 32ft Double Ophicleide was added, but no other changes were made. The organ case, designed by W. E. Godfrey, was installed in 1966.
The organ was fully restored in 2011-13 by Harrison & Harrison. Work included four new stops, enabling the establishment of a Great Second Division.
Union Chapel, Islington
“The tonal regulation has been superbly done, and could hardly be bettered. This organ is unlikely to have sounded finer, at any time in its past, than it does today. This is work of the highest quality, on an instrument whose own excellent pedigree deserved nothing less.” Independent Professional Organ Adviser Ian Bell
The organ was built for the new church by Henry Willis & Sons in 1877, and remains essentially unaltered. The only significant changes have been the replacement of the Choir Gemshorn 4ft by a 2ft Piccolo in 1909, the installation of electric blowing in the 1920s, and the installation of a balanced swell pedal in the 1940s. As an important example of ‘Father’ Willis’s work, the organ was fully restored on historical principles, by H&H in 2013. The variety of mechanisms (Barker machine, tubular pneumatic and mechanical) is characteristic. The original hydraulic blowing engines have been restored to working order by James Richardson-Jones and are retained as an alternative to electric blowing.
Temple Church Thanksgiving and Rededication
|A service of Thanksgiving and Rededication was held on Tuesday 7th May in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. This celebrated the completed restoration of the Temple Church Organ and was followed by a reception.||Her Majesty was shown photographs of the craftsmen in the workshop and was particularly fascinated by the use of a teapot for pouring glue.|
|Photographs copyright © 2013 Chris Christodoulou|
As part of the firm’s 150th anniversary we commissioned Cecilia McDowall to compose a new work for the organ, Sacred and Hallowed Fire. We are delighted that Robert Quinney agreed to give the première of this as part of his farewell recital at the Abbey on Palm Sunday 2013.
To celebrate the firm’s 150th anniversary, we ran various events throughout 2011, including:
- Workshop tours
- Cathedral recital & Durham celebration
- Touring exhibition
- Composition competition
In October 2011 James Lancelot gave a recital in Durham Cathedral to celebrate 150 years of Harrison & Harrison and the firm’s long association with the Cathedral. This splendid concert was attended by a large and enthusiastic audience.
It included a demonstration of the cathedral organ, led by Mark Venning.
As part of our 150th anniversary celebrations, a special exhibition was designed to illustrate the history of Harrison & Harrison and to describe the firm’s work. It included stunning photographs of some of the finest Harrison organs. It was displayed in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral, and is now to be shown around the North East of England.
The touring exhibition consists of a series of linked panels. If you would be interested in inviting the exhibition to be hosted in your area, please get in touch with the Administrator on 0191 378 22 22.
The winner of the Fantasia 150 Composition Competition, which was held as part of our 150 year celebrations, was Paul Ayres. The competition was judged by Simon Johnson, Organist of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Paul Ayres was born in London, studied music at Oxford University, and now works freelance as a composer & arranger, choral conductor & musical director, and organist & accompanist. His compositions usually involve words – solo songs, choral pieces, music for theatre productions – and he is particularly interested in working with pre-existing music, from arrangements of folksongs, hymns, jazz standards and nursery rhymes to ‘re-compositions’ of classical works, as in Purcell’s Funeral Sentence, 4A Wreck and Messyah. New pieces have been commissioned by the BBC Singers, the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, Concordia Youth Choir, The Esoterics, Texas Lutheran University, Wartburg College, Wheaton College and Alexandria Choral Society. Paul is the regular conductor of City Chorus, the London College of Music choirs and the Walbrook Singers, and he is the associate accompanist of Crouch End Festival Chorus. He has led many education workshops for children, played piano for improvised comedy shows and musical theatre, and has given solo organ recitals in the UK, Scandinavia, Europe, North America and Australia. Please visit www.paulayres.co.uk to find out more.
We’d like to congratulate Paul for his wonderful composition and to thank everyone who entered the competition.
Below is a slideshow of images taken at the 150 year Anniversary celebrations held at Durham Boating Club