Gala reception for St Albans International Organ Festival

A GALA reception has been held to launch an endowment fund for the International Organ Festival of St Albans which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013.

The reception was hosted by the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury at Hatfield House in front of guests including the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, the Countess of Verulam, and Dame Glynne Evans.

Founded in 1963 by the internationally-renowned concert organist Peter Hurford, the biennial competition and festival has not only been a springboard for some of the world’s finest musicians but provides 10 days of varied musical entertainment, from chamber music and jazz to large scale orchestral and choral concerts featuring musicians of international standing.

The 26th International Organ Festival will take place from July 7 to 16 next year and the competitions at its core were launched around the world in March this year.

Despite its worldwide reputation for high standards and quality of performance, the festival relies heavily on sponsorship and has no accumulated reserves on which to draw.

To secure the long-term future of the competition and music festival, an endowment fund to raise �250,000 initially has now been established.