Celebrity Organ Recital
From Bach to Parry: remembering them through their ‘Little Organ Books’.
Somerset-born organ virtuoso William Whitehead, who performed at the 2017 BBC Proms, presents an exciting recital on the “king of instruments”, with chorale preludes from JS Bach’s Orgelbüchlein heard alongside world premieres of new works by James Francis Brown and Roderick Williams.
Time & Date:
3pm Sunday 27 May 2018
Priory Church of St. George, Church Street, Dunster, TA24 6SH
William Whitehead (organ)
William Whitehead has gained a wide reputation for his engaging and inspiring interpretation of the organ repertoire. His concert career was given a boost when he won first prize at the Odense International organ competition in Denmark, 2004. Since then he has travelled widely giving concerts in Europe and the US. Recent venues include The Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms, the Cathedrals of Stavanger, Malaga and Lichfield and the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. A recording of the music of Duruflé and Alain, ‘Dances of Life and Death’, was released in 2005 by Chandos Records to excellent acclaim (Diapason Découverte award). It includes William’s own transcription of the Danse Lente by Duruflé, recorded with a special license from the Duruflé estate. This was followed by a recording of the six Mendelssohn Organ Sonatas, recorded on the Ballroom Organ at Buckingham Palace. Most recently, William is to be heard as soloist in Handel’s Organ Concerto Op 7 No1 with the Gabrieli Consort (Winged Lion label).
Trained at Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, William Whitehead combines his knowledge of the organ repertoire with a honed performer’s instinct. He is now a sought after organ teacher, teaching many students in both Oxford and Cambridge chapels. Previously he has held appointments as professor at both the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music. He is actively involved with the Royal College of Organists, as a committee member and examiner, and has frequently taught on courses for young organists.
In an accompanimental role, William has been an Assistant Cathedral Organist in Rochester, where he helped to found the Girls’ Choir, and now works regularly as an accompanist with groups such as the Gabrieli Consort, the Dunedin Consort and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He was awarded the ARAM in 2005, in recognition of distinction in the profession. The 2015 Proms saw him appear with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
As curator of the Orgelbüchlein project, William Whitehead is seeing through a large-scale project to ‘complete’ Bach’s unfinished collection. This international project has already garnered much interest and is fast becoming a cross-section of the most interesting composers at work today. More information is available at www.orgelbuechlein.co.uk.
Recent years have also seen him composing; several carol arrangements have gained a foothold in the repertoire, and his ‘Joys Seven’ has been sung by the BBC Singers, the choirs of St John’s College, Cambridge and Westminster Cathedral and various other collegiate choirs.
View William’s website here.