Ludlow Arts: Classical

Richard Gowers, organ
King's College, Cambridge

Saturday 9 September 2017 at 1:00pm

St Laurence, Ludlow

J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C, BWV547
Robert Schumann: Fugues on BACH, Op.60 Nos.1 and 2
Sigfrid Karg-Elert: Rondo alla Campanella
Julius Reubke: Sonata in C minor on the 94th Psalm

The eighth of a series of 9 Saturday lunchtime recitals on St Laurence's famous Snetzler organ with large screen video projection of the performer.

Richard Gowers is the senior organ scholar at King's College, Cambridge, where he is reading Music. He began learning the organ with Nigel Kerry while a chorister in the King's College Choir, and won a music scholarship to Eton College, where he studied with David Goode. Shortly before his final year of school he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and was awarded the Limpus, Shinn and Durrant Prize. After winning the 2013 Northern Ireland International Organ Competition, he spent a year in Germany, studying at the Mendelssohn Conservatoire in Leipzig. Thanks to generous support from the Nicholas Danby Trust he studied with Prof. Stefan Engels and Daniel Beilschmidt and was given access to historic instruments familiar to Bach and Mendelssohn. He is currently taught by Gordon Stewart.

At King's Richard plays for daily services in term time, as well as recordings, concerts and tours. Recent concerts with the choir have included the Concertgebouw, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the Aldeburgh Festival and the BBC Proms. Through the choir he has performed with orchestras such as the Britten Sinfonia, Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Maintaining an active concert schedule independent from the choir, Richard has travelled the world as a concert organist, giving recitals in Australia for a Bach series in Brisbane Town Hall at the inaugural Brisbane Baroque Festival, Ireland, Iceland and Germany. Last September he made his third concert tour of the United States, playing recitals in Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Albuquerque and Phoenix, and he has previously given recitals at Washington National Cathedral, Princeton and Harvard Universities and Trinity Church, Boston. In the UK he has performed in St Albans Cathedral for the St Albans International Organ Festival, St Paul's Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Reading and Leeds Town Halls.

Richard is also a keen pianist, particularly for chamber music and Lieder accompaniment. Recent projects have included the piano trios of Ravel and Mendelssohn (Op. 49), Butterworth A Shropshire Lad and Schumann Dichterliebe. During the restoration of the King's College Chapel organ he played daily services on the piano, using works by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Liszt, Stravinsky and Ravel as voluntaries. He performed Ravel's Piano Concerto in G in 2013. He has been taught by Christopher Hughes, Prof. Alexander Meinel and Prof. Charles Owen. As a harpsichordist, recent performances include the complete Brandenburg Concertos in King's over the past year, Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro and solo recitals advocating contemporary works by Ligeti and Albright. He is currently junior president of King's College Music Society, which has undergone an extensive image change in the past months. As a conductor he has directed performances of Ravel Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No 2, Schubert Unfinished Symphony and Brahms Eines Deutsches Requiem, and Bach Christmas¬†Oratorio¬†in collaboration with Margaret Faultless.

The organ in St Laurence's is one of the finest Parish Church organs in England. At its heart is the 19-stop 1764 organ by the Swiss maker John Snetzler. This was enlarged in the C19 by Gray and Davison to form the magnificent 4-manual instrument that we have today.

Large screen video projection of the performer.

Unreserved seating
Free: retiring collection

All recitals at St Laurence's are listed on

Richard Gowers
The Snezler organ in St Laurence, Ludlow
The organ console.