The plans are coming together for a repeat organ battle performance with a twist in Selby Abbey on September 3 2021 .
Internationally renowned organists Martin Baker and John Scott Whiteley will be taking turns on the Abbeys magnificent Hill organ, recently restored by Principal Pipe Organs, and the digital Regent Classic Skinner style instrument that will play through the speaker system permanently installed in the triforium.
Martin recently retired from Westminster Cathedral came to the BBC proms rescue last week when he stepped in at short notice to fill the place booked with Olivier Latry.
John Scott Whiteley will need no introduction to a local Yorkshire audience as he was for many years organist at York Minster, where the pipe organ has recently undergone a magnificent restoration.
Ticket Information for Battle of the Organs
Tickets available in advance or on the door £15. Ticket includes a glass of wine or soft drink.
To pre-book please contact the Selby Abbey office on 01757 703123 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: September 3 2021
Time: 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Selby Abbey, The Crescent
Selby, Yorkshire YO8 4PU United Kingdom
Battle of the organs with a Twist
So what is the twist? John and Martin will be joined by percussionist Barnaby Archer and give a performance of the Poulenc Organ Concerto which has been arranged for two organs by John.
This is one of my favourite pieces and the mood and pace turn on a sixpence. The percussion is a particularly exciting addition to organ and strings which is the more usual presentation. You wont have heard this option before so do make a great effort to get along and support the opening up of live performances again.
The programme is deliberately eclectic filled with great tunes and interesting rhythm. Yes of course there will be some Bach but the very light hearted stuff as you see from the interesting programme below.
Come out for a lovely happy light hearted celebration of the organ and the Abbey. I hope to see you there.
Programme – Battle of the Organs
The Organists – Martin Baker and John Scott Whitely
John Scott Whiteley is Organist Emeritus of York Minster, having worked at that great institution for 35 years until his retirement from it in 2010.
In 2014 he was elected to the Worshipful Company of Musicians, in recognition of his promotion of the organ and its music. He is a well-known and successful recitalist, and has made numerous recordings. A particular specialism is the music of J.S. Bach, and John recently worked on a comprehensive series of broadcasts for the BBC entitled “21st Century Bach”, which aimed to cover the composer’s entire works for the organ.
Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral for 20 years, from 2000, and President of the Royal College of Organists (2017-2019), Martin Baker was born and educated in Manchester, progressing from the Royal Northern College of Music Junior School, Chetham’s School of Music and St Ambrose College to an Organ Scholarship at Downing from 1985-1988.
Martin is regarded as one of Britain’s finest choral conductors and organists having held distinguished posts at both Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London.
As an organ soloist he won first prize in the Improvisation Competition at the St Albans International Organ Festival in 1997, and he performs solo recitals regularly throughout the UK as well as in Europe, the USA, and Russia. He is known particularly for his skill in organ improvisation.
About the Organs
The Organ of Selby Abbey is one of the finest romantic instruments in Britain. Built in 1909 by William Hill & Son, it is considered a magnificent example of one of the most highly-respected organ builders and a valuable survivor of this period of the firm’s work. The superb solid oak organ case was designed by John Oldred Scott, son of the celebrated George Gilbert Scott.
I have had a passion for church organs since the tender age of 12. I own and run Regent Classic Organs with a close attention to the detail that musicians appreciate; and a clear understanding of the benefits of digital technology and keeping to the traditional and emotional elements of organ playing.