Line up announced for St Albans International Organ Festival

National Youth Jazz Orchestra

National Youth Jazz Orchestra - Credit: Archant

ST Albans International Organ Festival celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year and once again it will demonstrate how international it is.

For the organ competitions, competitors for the final rounds will come to St Albans in July from Croatia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, UK and USA.

The competitions’ jury members are also a broadly based group, coming from France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA. All the jury members will be contributing to the festival music by giving recitals or, in the case of Susan Landale who was the winner of the 1963 interpretation competition, talking about her favourite music in conversation with BBC presenter Graeme Kay.

The music festival opens on Saturday, July 13, with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem conducted by Sir Richard Armstrong. The Britten Sinfonia, St Albans Bach Choir, Mosaic Chamber Choir and Choristers of St Albans Cathedral are joined by soloists Geraldine McGreevy and John Mark Ainsley and the Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair.

Wholly British is the National Youth Jazz Orchestra formed in 1965 to give aspiring young musicians the opportunity to rehearse, write and gain experience in live performance at a time when UK jazz education was in its infancy.

More used to playing in Ronnie Scott’s than in a cathedral, they come to St Albans to play their big band numbers and arrangements on Wednesday, July 17.

Among the other performers are the Italian pianist, Alessandro Taverna playing works by Debussy, Chopin and Beethoven, the Gould Piano Trio featuring Elgar and Mozart and Brecon Baroque playing Vivaldi and Bach.

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More Benjamin Britten comes from cellist Matthew Barley who combines electronics and muliti-media images in his concert. He also includes music by Bach, MacMillan and Gavin Bryars.

The Festival Art Exhibition in Kingsbury Barn runs throughout the festival and this year includes prints, paintings, sculpture, icons, glasswork, furniture and ceramics.

For further information contact Angela Tucker at

Full details of all the Concerts in the Festival can be found at