Internationally acclaimed organist to perform bank holiday recital at St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral organ. Picture: Chris Christodoulou

St Albans Cathedral organ. Picture: Chris Christodoulou - Credit: CHRIS CHRISTODOULOU

An internationally acclaimed virtuoso organist will perform an August Bank Holiday Monday organ recital at St Albans Cathedral.

The organ at St Albans Cathedral. Picture: Chris Christodoulou

The organ at St Albans Cathedral. Picture: Chris Christodoulou - Credit: CHRIS CHRISTODOULOU

American organist Stephen Tharp gives a lunchtime recital on the Cathedral's renowned Harrison & Harrison organ on Monday, August 26 at 1pm.

Hailed as "the organist for the connoisseur" by Journal für die Orgel, Germany, and "every bit the equal of any organist" by The American Organist magazine, Stephen Tharp was awarded the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

He is one of the most respected and well-travelled concert organists in the world, having performed more than 1,600 concerts over 53 worldwide tours.

Stephen's programme in St Albans includes works by J.S. Bach, Louis Vierne - the organist of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris early in the 20th century - and an arrangement for solo organ of Maurice Ravel's vivid and engaging piano and orchestral suite Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Andrew Lucas, Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral, said: "Organ music continues to play an integral part in the life of the Cathedral, and throughout the city through the biennial International Organ Festival.

"The Cathedral is proud of its international reputation as a centre of excellence in organ and church music.

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"We are honoured to be hosting an organist of such a distinguished calibre, and we are very much looking forward to hearing Stephen's captivating performance."

The recital will last around 60 minutes, and a retiring collection will be taken towards the work of the Cathedral Music Department.

A further concert in this summer's series takes place on Sunday, September 8, at 3pm.

This will be performed by St Albans Cathedral organ scholar Marko Sever.

The Abbey's organ was built by Harrison & Harrison Ltd of Durham in 1962 to a design by Peter Hurford, then Master of the Music at the Cathedral, and Ralph Downes.

It is a four-manual instrument of 64 stops and contains over 3,000 pipes.

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