On Wednesday 12th October 2022 we welcome organist Kris Thomsett to Bradford Cathedral for the next of this season’s organ recitals. Here we find out more about how Newcastle Cathedral adapted its recitals during its refurbishment, what he enjoys about the organ, and the piece he is most looking forward to playing!
Could you introduce yourself, how you got into music / become an organist and your musical journey to where you are today? My enthusiasm for the organ was noticed by a primary school teacher on a cathedral trip and arranged my first lessons. I then attended the King’s School Rochester as an organ scholar, going on to hold scholarships in Chelmsford, Norwich and Salisbury Cathedrals before taking up my post as Newcastle Cathedral.
Whilst Newcastle Cathedral was undergoing its recent refurbishment, you moved your organ recital series over to Jesmond URC. How was that during this time? And what changes have you made to the recital series as you’ve returned to the Cathedral?
Since moving back to the cathedral, we’ve been able to take advantage of the rebuild with much better seating in the Nave, as well as a much better TV and camera set up so the audience can watch the recitalist. Our time at the URC was wonderful, not only because of the warm welcome and reception, but also for the use of their wonderful instrument. Prior to our recital series, this organ was sadly rarely used for recitals, however since our stay, the restored appreciation for this instrument has seen not only their own recital series, but also very early talks about a positive future for the instrument.
What can people expect from your recital at Bradford Cathedral?
A varied programme from Byrd to Langlais, hopefully something for everybody to enjoy!
Why do you enjoy playing the organ?
I enjoy the organ because of it’s seemingly endless capabilities and variation. Not just the repertoire, spanning centuries, but also the instruments themselves.
Do you have a particular favourite piece out of those you are playing?
It would have to be the Byrd! It starts with such a simple line and ends up being like a dance!
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?
I will confess, I did not choose it, but I have throughly enjoyed learning it. It starts with such a suspenseful chord on shimming strings, and then the chorale is decorated with a quaver motif. It’s certainly very beautiful and a wonderful addition to my repertoire.
Finally, how would you sum up your upcoming recital at Bradford Cathedral?
A little bit of something for everybody!
You can join us on Wednesday 12th October at 1pm for Kris Thomsett’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.