From 4 July 2015, a feast of all things organ (and plenty of other musical activities) takes over St Albans for the 28th St Albans International Organ Festival, under the eye of Artistic Director David Titterington. At the heart of the festival are the competitions when, across thirteen rounds, organists compete for the prizes in Interpretation and Improvisation culminating in the Finals on 17 July and the Presentation of Awards and Prizewinners Concert on 18 July 2015 at the Cathedral. This year the Interpretation Finals will be for a performance of a Handel organ concerto with the Orchester Wiener Akademie, conducted by Martin Haselböck.
The Martin Haselböck and the orchestra will also be giving a concert in their own right in the cathedral on 17 July 2015 when they perform music by Biber, Haydn and Mozart. Other highlights include the premiere of a Festival commission from James MacMillan, Noli Pater for choir, organ and bass Iona triple pipe. The work will feature chant from the Incholm Antiphoner and be performed by Bernhard Haas (organ), Barnaby Brown (Northumbrian pipes) and the choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, conductor Geoffrey Webber. The choirs of Christ Church, Oxford, Westminster Cathedral and St Albans Cathedral will be combining for a concert conducted by Martin Baker, Stephen Darlington and Andrew Lucas. Soprano Joan Rogers will be accompanied by Christopher Glynn (on the piano!) for a programme of Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Wolf, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky.
There are organ recitals by a variety of distinguished organist as well as the jury members, James O'Donnell, Michel Bouvard, Carole Terry. Swedish organist Hans Davidsson will be combining the music of George Böhm and Arvo Pärt with dance.
Full information from the festival website.