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Thursday 1 March 2018
Pulling out the stops: unveiling the new RCM organ
The Royal College of Music’s new organ has been unveiled in a series of special events and concerts this season.
In January, a special event with Founding Patrons Kingdom Music Education Group, organ builders Flentrop Orgelbouw and special guests was held to celebrate the launch of the new organ.
The magnificent instrument was also the centre of attention at a hugely popular one-day festival in February, which featured talks and performances of works by some of the RCM’s most revered students including Vaughan Williams, Parry and Stamford, and a recital by world-renowned organist and RCM alumnus Thomas Trotter. The organ also featured in two unforgettable performances of Richard Strauss’ magnificent tone poem An Alpine Symphony, conducted by Bernard Haitink in the same month.
The new instrument is part of the More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music Campaign, which represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the College’s facilities.
Designed to complement the gilding of the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, the organ’s eye-catching casework is resonant with the centuries-old Dutch and German traditions, and echoes historical instruments from those regions.
‘Dutch organ builders Flentrop Orgelbouw were commissioned after a careful selection process,’ says RCM Artistic Director Stephen Johns. ‘Their combination of design, historical understanding, quality of material and construction, and musical knowledge and experience put them well ahead. The result is an organ that fulfils all the needs of the RCM performance and teaching programme.’
Professor in charge of organ David Graham added that, ‘the new organ is an instrument of integrity, flexibility and, above all, musicality. It’s truly thrilling to play’.
The Royal College of Music organ is in recognition of James Zheng Huang HonRCM.