Chapel organ first in UK

Chapel organ first in UK

INTERVEW / PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Members of the media are invited for a photo opportunity of the new organ at King's College Chapel, 28 January, 3:30pm. Roger Williams and Bernard Aubertin will also be available for interview. Also, visiting the chapel today are Professor Nigel Allcoat, Organ Advisor to the Royal Academy of Music and Bill Drake, Organ Builder. Please contact the press office to advise of attendance / arrange a time for interview on 01224 272013.

The installation of an outstanding new organ at the University of Aberdeen's King's College Chapel, designed by the French master organ builder, Bernard Aubertin, is nearing completion. This will be the first Aubertin organ in the United Kingdom.

The Organ Appeal, launched by the Development Trust on the 500th anniversary of the Chapel's foundation, has exceeded all expectations, raising £275,000, including £65,000 from the Lillie Bequest, thanks to the generosity of University graduates and friends of King's College Chapel.

Dr Roger Williams, Director of Music and University Organist, said: "This is one of the most exciting developments in University Music in my time here. The finished instrument will give the Chapel one of the most outstanding organs in Scotland and will complement the interior architecture of the medieval University Chapel of King's College beautifully."

Graeme Roberts, Vice Principal, Teaching & Learning, said: "This will enable us to maintain our founder's original wish when he specified that one of his College staff should be 'a proficient on the organ'."

The commission for building the new organ was awarded to Bernard Aubertin, one of the world's leading organ builders. The French Ministry of Culture conferred on him the title of Maître d'art Facture d'Orgues, the highest accolade ever given by France to an organ builder. Although Aubertin's work is to be found in many countries, this will be the very first Aubertin organ in the United Kingdom.

The classical design and traditional craftsmanship of the organ are in keeping with Bishop Elphinstone's original concept of the chapel. The new organ will provide a unique resource not just to the Chapel and University but to the City of Aberdeen. The presence of such a fine instrument will stimulate interest in the organ in order to address the current shortage of organists in Scotland.

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