A Musical Feast at Ripon for the King of Instruments

20th January 2014

To celebrate the refurbishment of their Harrison & Harrison organ, Ripon Cathedral is hosting a weekend of music and worship featuring local and international musicians.

Friday 7 February sees one of the finest organists of his generation, Olivier Latry, give a Celebrity Organ Recital. Latry is an internationally renowned exponent of French organ music and improvisation, and this recital offers a rare chance to hear him in the UK. Olivier Latry is Organiste Titulaire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Andrew Bryden, Ripon Cathedral’s Director of Music, says, “The improvement in the organ’s tone and performance since its refurbishment is impressive. I am delighted to welcome Olivier Latry here to give its official relaunch recital in a programme which will certainly showcase the amazing variety of musical colours which the instrument offers.”

Talent from closer to home also celebrates the organ’s restoration when Ripon’s very own St Cecilia Orchestra is joined on Saturday 8 February by Andrew Bryden in a programme of orchestral music in which the organ plays a significant role. The programme includes Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3 (The “Organ” Symphony). The orchestra’s conductor, Xenophon Kelsey says “What a delight it is going to be to perform with this magnificent instrument! We played the Poulenc Organ Concerto many years ago and it works brilliantly in the Cathedral. It’s such an enjoyable piece for everybody. This concert also gives us an opportunity for local young string players to join us in a workshop to play the famous Albinoni “Adagio” and it provides a great excuse to programme the glorious Saint-Saens ‘Organ’ Symphony, something we’ve wanted to play for a long time. I’m sure the audience will love it!”

The Cathedral congregation on Sunday 9 February will also welcome the organ back officially when Bishop James Bell joins them for a Service of Re-dedication. Canon Keith Punshon, Sub-Dean of Ripon Cathedral says, “The organ is sounding better than ever since its refurbishment and this weekend will be like a party to celebrate the return of an old friend. We look forward to the organ continuing to inspire and move us, now and for generations to come and are grateful to everyone who supported the organ restoration appeal which has made this possible.”