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The great writer on music Alex Ross, famous especially for his superb book The Rest is Noise, wrote “The Messiaen festival at the University of Chicago kicked off last night with the great British organist Gillian Weir performing Messe de la Pentecôte, among other works. When I reviewed a great pile of Messiaen organ discs for Fanfare magazine some years ago, I came to the conclusion that Weir's cycle, originally issued on Collins Classics and now available from Priory Records, reigned supreme.”

Read more comments on Weir's Messiaen on the Messiaen Recording page.

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Another New Honour for Gillian Weir

Gillian Weir was recently made an Honorary Fellow of Grey College, Durham University.

New Honour for Gillian Weir

Gillian Weir has been given the signal honour of being made an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. This venerable and distinguished Society, one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, dates back to at least 1360. Founded as a specialist guild for musicians, the modern Company promotes all aspects of the art and science of music. It supports musicians and musical education, awarding prizes, scholarships and medals.

The Honorary Freedom is the Company's highest Award. Other current Freemen are Dame Janet Baker, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, HRH the Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and HRH Duchess of Kent. Past Honorary Freemen have included Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Hubert Parry, Ralph Vaughan Williams O.M., Lord (Benjamin) Britten, and Sir Yehudi Menuhin.

The Award was conferred on Gillian Weir by the Master, Andrew Morris, in a ceremony held at the ancient and beautiful Merchant Taylors' Hall , in the City of London. A Dinner for some two hundred members and guests followed, at which Gillian was the speaker.

Latest CD release!

LYRITA have issued a CD containing the world première of Peter Racine Fricker's Symphony No. 5 for organ and orchestra (in effect an organ concerto). The concert was broadcast live and Lyrita have been able to acquire the BBC's recording.

The work was commissioned by the BBC for the 25th Jubilee anniversary of the Royal Festival Hall, and the concert took place on May 5th 1976. Gillian Weir was soloist (as she was in his later Organ Concerto and other Fricker works), and Sir Colin Davis conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The CD, which also contains his oratorio The Vision of Judgement, is available now, on Lyrita REAM1124.

On the Cover...

From the November 1966 Diapason, a description announcing Gillian Weir's first extensive North America concert tours.

Click on the image itself to see an enlarged version.


Special Interview & Panel Discsussion

Saturday, August 2nd 2014, at the Royal Festival Hall, London: The Southbank Centre Organ Symposium on the Royal Festival Hall Organ, in collaboration with the British Institute of Organ Studies and the Royal College of Music. This is part of the Royal Festival Hall's Festival to celebrate the restoration of the Hall's organ after nearly a decade's absence.

Gillian Weir, who has performed at the Southbank Centre over fifty times, will be interviewed by William McVicker, the Southbank Centre's Organ Curator, on her long association with the Royal Festival Hall organ. This will take place at 12.45, and at 3.15 Gillian Weir, Lionel Rogg and others will take part in a panel discussion on historical and contemporary performance practice.

Messiaen: Organ Works

An undiscovered treasure! Recorded in 1966 but never released are nearly 100 minutes of Messiaen recorded by Gillian Weir shortly after she won the St. Alban's Competition. At the centrepiece of this recital is Les Corps Glorieux and the other pieces display Dame Gillian's immense command over and total empathy with this music. The 7000+-word notes include an introduction to the recording; detailed notes on the works; and a fascinating article on her association and work with Olivier Messiaen - all by Dame Gillian. Also included is a technical note on the history of the recording (made in the early hours of the morning on 10 and 11 October 1966, to ensure that any sound of trains was minimised!) and its remastering, by Campbell Hughes, engineer for the original project and remastering engineer for this issue.

Click here to order.

Scherzo Available!

Scherzo is a delightful disc with a collection of fun music for the organ, showing its lighter and playful side. Performed with Gillian Weir's customary wit and virtuosity, it was recorded on the Aeolian-Skinner Organ of Uihlein Hall, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is currently available from retailers such as amazon. Click here for track listings.

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