The Lady Organist

an online magazine for organists

Category Interviews

Margaret Phillips plays the complete organ works of Bach…twice

For those of us who are struggling to perform even a few of the 280-odd organ works of Bach to a standard that we are happy with, the idea of playing the complete oeuvre in recital would seem a mind-boggling impossibility.  But this is a challenge that Margaret Phillips will meet twice this year.  She says “I shall remember 2015 as a very special year, with the wonderful opportunity to

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Five questions for…D’Arcy Trinkwon

International concert organist D’Arcy Trinkwon realised his musical vocation during his years as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral under Allan Wicks – following studies with H A Bate in London, he went to the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.  Fascination for the French virtuoso organ tradition as represented particularly by Jeanne Demessieux and her teacher Dupré inevitably drew him to Paris, where he completed his formal studies with Jean

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Five questions for…..Jane Watts

A couple of years ago a was kicking myself for missing a recital by Jane Watts in London.   This time round I’m going to get it right.  Jane will give the recital that ends the Bloomsbury Organ Day on 31st January in London and I intend to be there.   Jane’s international career continues to take her all over the world,  and she is a popular choice for the opening recital

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Five questions for…..Daniel Moult

I’ve attended some memorable workshops given by Dan Moult.  He is excellent on practice and performance psychology, and I now try and stick to his insistence on total discipline right from the start of learning a piece – because his own playing is so wonderfully virtuosic and convincing.   Born in Manchester, he studied at Oxford (gaining his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists with three of the top playing

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Five questions for…..Jon Nisperos

Up till now my interviews have almost exclusively been with organists living and working in the UK – so I though you might enjoy an interview with a young South African organist.   Jon Nisperos and I have been exchanging emails about new organs in the UK amongst other things:  ‘I have always dreamed of travelling and exploring the many organs of the world’ says Jon.  He is 20, and was

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Five questions for…Liam Cartwright

Born in Worcestershire, Liam Cartwright won the Worcester Young Musician of the Year competition in 2000, and went on to study the organ with Margaret Phillips, David Graham and Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer-Choplin at the Royal College of Music, London, and in Paris.   Whilst at the RCM Liam made a point of travelling extensively and playing instruments throughout Europe, and as a recitalist he has performed throughout the UK and Europe, including

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Five questions for…..William McVicker

Dr William McVicker recently gave us an entertaining inaugural recital on the 1858 Walker organ at St Mary’s Ponsbourne, in Hertfordshire, after its restoration – he was consultant on the project, undertaken by Mander Organs of London.  As William was also behind the massive Royal Festival Hall organ restoration project which has been so much in the news this Spring, I had to grab the opportunity for an interview. William

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Five questions for…Katherine Dienes-Williams

Katherine Dienes-Williams was born and educated in Wellington, New Zealand, and was Organ Scholar and then Assistant Organist at Wellington Cathedral before she came to England to take up the position of Organ Scholar at Winchester Cathedral and Assistant Organist at Winchester College.   After a spell at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool, and then as Assistant Organist and Director of the Cathedral Girl’s Choir at Norwich Cathedral, she was appointed

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Five questions for…Nicky Fraser

Nicky Fraser converted from piano to organ eight years ago and under the guidance of Colin Tipple, has recently gained her ARCO.  (So she’s a bit like me, but further on!)   She’s organist at Inverleith St. Serf’s Church in Edinburgh, where the organ has just been renovated by Principal Pipe Organs of York  – so that’s another reason to be cheerful.   Nicky says “Principal Pipe Organs have brought this

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Five questions for…Hilary Norris

Hilary Norris now works as a performer and teacher in Leominster, but is returning to St Mary’s Church, Northchurch, in Hertforshire, where she was Director of Music for three years from 1997, to give the opening recital in a series in aid of the organ repair appeal.  Hilary was Organ Scholar at Keble College Oxford, and then won scholarships to go on to study with Jacques van Oortmerssen in Amsterdam.

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Five Questions for…..James Parsons

James Parsons is teaching us in Oxford this week, and even persuaded us today that transposition and harmonisation at sight were great fun – well almost.   He’s an enormously busy recitalist and teacher – organ tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire and the RCO Academy Organ School, and Head of Student Development for the Royal College of Organists.  As soon as our course is over he’s running Set Your Sights! –

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Five questions for…..Jennifer Bate

This interview was first published in the run-up to Jennifer’s recital on 1st March 2014 at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church – which was fabulous by the way: the Liszt Ad nos, ad salutarem undam a masterclass in orchestration.  Details of her next recitals appear at the bottom of the page. Jennifer Bate is in the top rank of international organists and has long been a favourite at all the world’s

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Five questions for…..Frederick Stocken

Frederick Stocken is a British composer – the only child of a British-born father and a mother who came to the UK as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany.  As Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College Cambridge, he studied with Peter Hurford, gaining his ARCO at sixteen with five prizes (and a further three on gaining his FRCO).   He started composing as a fairly small child, though the first piece

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Five questions for…Marilyn Harper

Marilyn studied organ, piano, harpsichord and singing at the Royal Manchester College of Music. As organ scholar at Girton College, Cambridge, she studied with Gillian Weir; performances included Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, and a recital in the Cambridge Festival.   She was a founder member of the St Michael’s Singers of Cambridge, as singer, conductor and arranger. Having begun her teaching career in the north west of England, Marilyn then won the

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