On Wednesday 17th of April we welcome David Pipe from Leeds for our first organ recital of the 2024 summer season. In this edition of ‘Notes from an Organist’ we discover more about them, and what to expect from their recital.

Could you introduce yourself, how you got into music / become an organist and your musical journey to where you are today?
As with many organists, I held a university organ scholarship before becoming a professional liturgical musician. I’ve recently moved into working as a freelance organist and conductor, having worked since 2008 in full-time cathedral music: first as Assistant Director of Music at York Minster, and most recently as Director of the Keyboard Studies Programme & Cathedral Organist in the Diocese of Leeds.

What can people expect from your recital at Bradford Cathedral?
I always do my best to explore as many of an organ’s colours as I can, so hope that the audience will enjoy a wide-ranging tour of the Cathedral instrument’s capabilities and sounds.

Why do you enjoy playing the organ?
The organ’s repertoire is vast (a typical recital might include a piece from the 1500s next to something written this year), and I enjoy exploring such a wide range of music. Furthermore, playing the organ has allowed me to play in some fantastic buildings around the world, and I’ve been fortunate to perform with other musicians in all sorts of contexts.

Do you have a particular favourite piece out of those you are playing?
I’m always fond of Jeanne Demessieux’s Te Deum, which I learnt about 20 years ago for an organ exam and have played ever since. The Parisian Demessieux was famous for her phenomenal technique, which often included playing in stilettos!

This season’s theme is ‘The French Connection (Post-Revolution France)’. How are you reflecting this in your programme?
As well as Demessieux’s piece, I’ll include a transcription from Saint-Saëns’ wonderful Symphony No. 3 (the famous one with the organ!) and will open with Franck’s Fantaisie in A.

What are your hopes or plans musically for 2024?
As I type this, I’m about to go into a rehearsal with a symphonic metal band for a recorded gig that will feature on The One Show later this month (a new genre known as Organic Metal)! I’m also looking forward to organ recitals in Germany, Greece and Italy later in the year.

Finally, how would you sum up your upcoming recital at Bradford Cathedral?
Some pieces the audience will know will sit alongside less familiar repertoire that I hope they’ll enjoy equally.

You can join us on Wednesday 17th of April at 1pm to hear David’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.

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