Organ Festival gets ready to showcase talent

Weiner Akademie

Weiner Akademie - Credit: Archant

The biennial St Albans International Organ Festival returns in July with a mixture of choral and instrumental music, jazz and folk, dance and an art exhibition.

It runs from July 4-18 and the highlights will include three world premieres from leading composers, an eclectic percussion quartet and a musical, bubble-blowing dragon.

The Festival Fringe opens on 4 July, with mainly free folk and blues events taking place around the Clock Tower, Christopher Place and Vintry Garden. The attractions will include WOOFYT, an organ made largely of plumbing supplies.

At the festival’s heart are two internationally-renowned organ competitions. Twenty three young organists from 12 countries across four continents meet in St Albans from July 8 to compete for the Interpretation and Improvisation prizes.

The winners will be announced nine days later and the Prizewinners Concert will be held in St Albans Cathedral at 11.30am on Saturday, July 18.

A highlight of the festival will be its resident orchestra, Wiener Akademie, one of Austria’s most acclaimed period instrument orchestras, whose July 16 concert features well-loved symphonies by Haydn and Mozart.

Choral music comes from St Albans Bach Choir who sing Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and from the choirs of Westminster Cathedral, Christ Church, Oxford and St Albans Cathedral in the Three Choirs Concert. In addition, the Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge sing Music of Irish and Tudor Kings.

Most Read

Other highlights include percussionists ensemblebash contrasting with a recital by soprano, Joan Rodgers.

For full details of events and to book tickets go to or telephone the box office on 01727 846126.