RCM to unveil new world-class organ
Thursday 16 November 2017
The Royal College of Music’s new organ will be unveiled in spring 2018. The new instrument is part of the More Music project, which represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the College’s facilities. Custom built by Flentrop Orgelbouw, the organ is an exceptional new facility for the RCM, which has a prestigious history of organ training and distinguished alumni including Dame Gillian Weir, Ralph Downes, Wayne Marshall, Timothy Wakerell and Nicohlas Danby.
The bespoke organ was designed with emphasis on beauty of tone, with 34 stops over three manuals and pedals. Its case of Limousin oak was designed in the Dutch and North German traditions with gilding to echo the decoration of the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall. The keyboard has a suspended mechanical action and the sound is fed by two large V-fold bellows with a relatively low wind pressure to achieve a warm, prominent tone, ideal for the hall’s lively acoustic.
Flentrop Orgelbouw is one of the leading organ builders in the world. The RCM’s organ was designed by Flentrop’s celebrated organ builder Frits Elshout and General Director Erik Winkel in collaboration with their skilled staff. Frits is now overseeing the voicing of the organ, the final stage of the project.
|The RCM's new organ sits in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall|
Organ students at the RCM currently have access to the College’s collection of a further six organs, which include three mechanical action instruments, as well as enjoying playing opportunities at locations across London. The new organ replaces an instrument which saw a century of service at the RCM, and will be featured regularly in performance.
Professor Colin Lawson CBE, Director of the Royal College of Music, comments, ‘I am overjoyed at the results of Flentrop Orgelbouw’s expert craftsmanship and their success in turning our vision for this new instrument into a reality. The College’s ongoing mission is to enhance our students’ experience and I know every musician here will enjoy and learn from our new organ.’
The RCM is hosting an organ festival on 25 February 2018 to celebrate the new instrument. There will be performances of works by renowned RCM alumni Vaughan Williams, Parry and Stanford alongside new music by RCM composers. Experts from Flentrop will be in attendance to provide fascinating insights and the day will conclude with a recital from internationally acclaimed organist Thomas Trotter. More details about the RCM’s spring season will be available soon.
Applications to study at the Royal College of Music will open in summer 2018 for entry in September 2019. Find out more about our BMus course and Keyboard Faculty at www.rcm.ac.uk/keyboard.