It’s festival season – for Exeter Cathedral’s pipe organ

It’s festival season – for Exeter Cathedral’s pipe organ

Sunday 18th June 2017

Exeter Cathedral’s historic pipe organ will be at the heart of a summer-long festival of music, as a popular concert series returns for another year.

Seven performers will put the instrument through its paces in the recitals, with the opening concert being given by Winchester Cathedral’s Andrew Lumsden on 22nd June. Mr Lumsden, who has been Organist and Director of Music at Winchester since 2002, is a renowned recitalist and has also held positions at Westminster Abbey, Lichfield Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral.

With four keyboards (‘manuals’), a pedalboard played by the feet and over 4,000 pipes, the Exeter Cathedral organ is the largest instrument in the city and is played every day by one of the Cathedral’s resident organists including Timothy Noon, Director of Music.

Looking ahead to the series launch, he said:

“This instrument occupies a special place in the life of the Cathedral, both in its dominant position in the centre of the building,  as well as its main role in leading and support the daily round of sung worship here as it has done for centuries. We are excited about giving concert-goers the opportunity to hear the organ as a solo instrument in this year’s recital series.”

The organ at Exeter Cathedral has evolved significantly since it was first built in the 17th century to meet the ever changing musical demands of a living Cathedral. As well as the expansion and raising of John Loosemore’s case of 1665, this has also included the moving of the impressive 32’ pipes to the South Transept, and the creation of an entirely new section of the organ in the Minstrels’ Gallery.

Since the 1930s the organ has been cared for by Durham-based builders Harrison & Harrison, who carried out a major overhaul of the organ between 2013 and 2015.

Tickets for each recital are available from Exeter Cathedral (01392 285983 and online) and admission is free for under 18s.

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