Kirklees Concert Season

Kirklees Concert Season / News / Thu 03 Sep 2020

Lunchtime organ concerts go online

Lunchtime organ concerts go online

Music lovers are being given the chance to enjoy classical music concerts at Huddersfield Town Hall from the comfort of their own home thanks to digital innovations.

The project, funded by Kirklees Council’s Concert Series in partnership with the Lawrence Batley Theatre (LBT) and The University of Huddersfield, uses Facebook and Youtube to broadcast the popular lunchtime concerts to anyone, anywhere in the world, pleasing existing and creating new and wider audiences.

With the ongoing pandemic restrictions the team have also made sure the concerts can be accessed by Kirklees Care Homes to help improve the wellbeing of residents, some of whom would have been unable to attend the venue even under normal circumstances.

Much-loved Kirklees Borough Organist Gordon Stewart will play the 1860 Father Willis Organ during the fortnightly concerts starting on 14 September with an introduction and demonstration of the famous instrument.

A series of six concerts will follow each fortnight on Mondays at 1pm with an array of music from composers including Handel, Bach, Carter and Mendelssohn ending with a final Christmas concert in December. Each concert will last around an hour.

Highlights include special guest Tom Osborne, Hallé Orchestra’s co-principle trumpeter, who joins the musical celebrations on 12 October and 9 November with programmes stretching from Padre Martini to Ennio Morricone. Tom will play cornet showpieces Höhne’s Slavische Fantasie, Telemann’s Concerto in D and Noel Rawsthorne’s Aria.

Viewers will also be treated to a Huddersfield premier on October 26 with Bach’s Chorale from Cantata 80. Despite the final movement being one of Bach’s most complex featuring chorus, brass and strings, it has been arranged by the American composer Gerald Near as an organ solo.

Music lovers won’t want to miss the concert line up for 23 November, a world premier! Before passing away Noel Rawsthorne was writing a partita based on the chorale Ein’ feste Burg dedicated to Gordon Stewart. As the final movement was incomplete, Gordon commissioned the organist, pianist and composer Ben Comeau to write the proposed Fugue and Toccata. This performance of the final piece will be a world premier.

Whilst the concerts are free, there will be an online option to ‘pay as you feel’ for anyone who wishes to support the Organ Concert series by making a donation. You can make a donation at

All concerts will be available to view online on TheLBTHuddersfield Youtube channel live on the day at 1pm, or available as catch-up options from the day after the performance. See web link below for further details.

This initiative forms part of the Leeds City region’s plans for a Year of Culture in 2023 with Kirklees designating it as a Year of Music for the district, shining a light on the richness and diversity of music today.

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