On Wednesday 28th September 2022 we welcome organist Jonathan Kingston to Bradford Cathedral for the next of this season’s organ recitals. Here we find out more about his time as Sub Organist here, how he enjoys the earth shaking noise of the organ, and the European-feeling programme, with his answers written all the way over in Indonesia!
Could you introduce yourself, how you got into music / become an organist and your musical journey to where you are today?
I followed what is probably a usual route! I was a chorister at Leeds Grammar School and later in Liverpool as well as an organ student at the Anglican Cathedral. I then moved to my first official post as Organ Scholar and then Sub Organist at Bradford Cathedral between 1997-2000. I remember it as a hugely happy and fulfilling time where I learnt a great deal. There were some fantastic characters amongst the back row of the Cathedral Choir while both Alan Horsey and Martin Baker were a terrific double-act, tough taskmasters, ace musicians and ultimately hugely supportive of me.
What can people expect from your recital at Bradford Cathedral?
An eclectic programme! Hopefully something to suit all tastes on the exciting pipe organ I remember so well. There is music from England, Germany and Belgium.
Why do you enjoy playing the organ?
Not just for the earth shaking noises but also for the great variety of sounds that are possible, particularly when performing pieces from different parts of the globe.
Do you have a particular favourite piece out of those you are playing?
Yes – the final two pieces which are wonderful and rarely performed works which form part of a larger Suite by Flor Peeters. The ‘Lied’ (as in song cycle) Symphony featuring the Lied to the Mountains and then a terrific blistering toccata finale in the ‘Lied to the Sun’.
Each recital this season includes a piece from The Orgelbüchlein Project – what was it like learning this piece / why did you pick that particular piece?
Well… I haven’t quite learnt it yet! I am writing these replies currently on an examining tour in Indonesia so my Orgelbüchlien Project piece will be brought up to scratch on my return. I’m pairing it with a splendid contemporary Partita which has been composed in a similar vein.
Finally, how would you sum up your upcoming recital at Bradford Cathedral?
Hopefully hugely enjoyable – I’m lucky enough to be on a list of regulars who are asked back so hopefully I’m doing something right! The pleasure will be all mine though. I love the Cathedral, the memories of 25 years ago and playing the organ at the Cathedral which is very characterful. I know of no other instrument quite like it.
You can join us on Wednesday 28th September at 1pm for Jonathan Kingston’s organ recital, with an optional £4 buffet lunch beforehand at 12:30pm.
You can discover more about our organ recital season on our dedicated page.