Chester Cathedral Organ
Organ recitals have always been a feature of the music making here at Chester Cathedral. The cathedral has hosted a weekly organ recital since 1972, shortly after the 1969/1970 rebuild of the cathedral organ. Outside London, we do, perhaps, more for lovers of organ music than any other cathedral in the British Isles.
Cathedral Organist Roger Fisher set up the series and many famous names have played here. These have included Maurice Duruflé, Francis Jackson, Harold Darke, Thomas Trotter, David Sanger, and David Briggs amongst so many others. It is known that in 1922, Marcel Dupré gave two recitals in the cathedral, the second of which saw the cathedral “thronged from end to end” with spectators. The audience numbers for these recitals is testament to their popularity within Chester and further afield. We regularly have eighty people in attendance every Thursday. Also, we have a band of faithful regulars who attend almost every single recital.
As organiser of the recital series, I am inundated with requests by organists to play. Players from all over Europe, America and as far away as Korea and New Zealand approach me. Unfortunately, I have to tell them that there is a long waiting list but I do try and consider their request. The cathedral organists, as one would expect, give many of the recitals. It enables us to learn new repertoire to a deadline and to keep our technique in good shape. It is a discipline for us all to keep practising and often one of us is in the cathedral until very late in the evening – the best time to use the organ, when the building is empty.
A full list of Chester Cathedral Organists can be found by clicking here
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The Refectory, built in the 13th century, was the dining hall for the 40 monks who belonged to the community at the time. The Refectory is open from 9:30 - 4:30 and a delicious lunch menu, fabulous cakes and free Wi-Fi!
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