The winner of our 2006 Organ Festival held at All Saints’ Church, Maidstone, on 20th May, was Geoffrey Tuson and part of his prize was the opportunity of giving an organ recital in Canterbury Cathedral.
Geoffrey began studying the organ with John Belcher at the age of 14. Since 2004 he has been a student at the Royal College of Music in London studying with Margaret Phillips. Studying at the RCM has afforded him opportunities to play famous instruments in France, Holland and North Germany as well as participating in masterclasses with internationally renowned organists such as Dame Gillian Weir. In recent years Geoffrey has been a regular participant in the organ class at the Godalming Music Festival, winning his class in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In addition to his RCM studies, Geoffrey has held the post of Organist and Choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Church, Frimley Green, Surrey, since 2004.
The recital took place on 27th April after Evensong. A good number of KCOA members were there, including our President, and Geoffrey’s programme was:
Magnificat Primi Toni (BuxWV 203) Buxtehude; Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (BWV 645) J S Bach; Wo soll ich fliehen hin / Auf meinen lieben Gott (BWV646) J S Bach; Fugues III and II (Sechs Fugen uber den Namen B-A-C-H) Schumann; Fugue in A flat minor Brahms; Fantaisie in E flat Saint-SaŽns.
Geoffrey Tuson at Canterbury
We moved from the North German baroque exuberance of Buxtehude through to the sombre beauty of the Brahms fugue, and finished in France with the ever-attractive Fantaisie, where the Allegro section ends with full organ.
Geoffrey successfully exploited the range of the organ, with fine rhythmic control well suited to the reverberant acoustics of the Cathedral. It was an occasion much enjoyed by all those present, and was a fitting climax to the vision which brought about out first Organ Festival. Congratulations to Geoffrey for splendid playing, and thanks to Dr David Flood and the Cathedral authorities for making this recital possible.
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