Music battle to bring drama to first Guildhall Organ Festival

Music battle to bring drama to first Guildhall Organ Festival

All News / Published on 18th October 2017

Music lovers will have the opportunity to catch a unique and dramatic performance by two of the world’s finest organists on Friday night as the Battle of the Organs event gets underway at the Guildhall Organ Festival in Derry~Londonderry.

Expect some exciting on stage antics as international artists Catherine Ennis and Daniel Moult battle it out for musical supremacy in what promises to be a highly entertaining and explosive showdown.

The festival is taking place from October 19-21 and is supported by the Royal College of Organists, in association with Derry City and Strabane District Council, The Honourable the Irish Society and Viscount Organs.

Music fans can enjoy a series of workshops, lunchtime recitals, evening concerts and master classes led by leading experts such as Catherine Ennis and Daniel Moult, and showcasing the talents of celebrated composers and artists Neil Martin and Paddy Glackin.

The Battle of the Organs offers the opportunity to see two of the UK’s finest musicians test their keyboards skills to the limit, refereed by top recorder player Sir Roger Gifford – not something you see every day – as Council’s Visitor Services Manager Margaret Edwards explained: ‘The Battle of the Organs offers the chance to experience organ music in quite a different way and we are delighted to be hosting such a quirky and dramatic show as part of the festival.

‘It will appeal to people of all ages, and I’ve been told there are costumes, props and all sorts thrown into the mix as the musicians battle it out! We are currently awaiting the arrival of the Battle Organ which will be taking on the might of our own organ for a sensational show.

‘The Organ Festival will be a wonderful celebration of music and as well as showcasing the talents of some of our finest musicians, it will bring organ music to a new audience through the schools workshop programme. I hope everyone will turn out to enjoy this celebration of the historic and beautiful Guildhall organ.’

There will also be the chance to enjoy a Gala Evening of classical and traditional Irish music beautifully performed by Belfast composer and musician Neil Martin and Irish fiddler Paddy Glackin. The programme also features a special lunchtime recital at St Columb’s Cathedral with prize-winning new talents Matthew Breen and Thomas Maxwell, as well as recitals by exceptional local musicians Donal McCann and Stewart Smith.Stewart will play an evening concert with Catherine Ennis on Thursday October 19.

Schools will also be participating in a series of workshops throughout the festival and participants will have the opportunity to take part in an exciting competition courtesy of Viscount Organs, with the chance to win an organ and 50% of the first year’s tuition fees for free.

For more information and further details of the Organ Festival telephone 028 71 376 510, email guildhall@derrystrabane.com or follow the Guildhall on Facebook.

Tickets can be purchased at the Guildhall, in person or by telephone. Bookings for the schools workshops are via guildhall@derrystrabane.com and the Organ masterclass on the Saturday should be booked via the Royal College of Organists website www.rco.org.ok

Ticket prices for the evening concerts are as follows: Thursday & Friday evening £12 / £6 concession; Saturday Gala Concert £15 /£7.50 concession; Festival Pass (admission to all 3 concerts) £33 / £16.50 concession (child/student/OAP).