Pull Out all the Stops

Pull Out all the Stops

Southbank Centre has commissioned new works by Music Sales composers including Maxwell Davies, Tavener, Saariaho and Riley in a celebration of the restoration and 60th anniversary of the Royal Festival Hall Organ at London’s Southbank Centre.

From March 18 to April 14 2014, Southbank Centre is hosting Pull Out All The Stops Festival – An Organ Celebration which will involve performances and premieres to herald the arrival of the newly refurbished organ.

Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director Jude Kelly says…

‘We want to share our passion for the organ and have commissioned new work from eight artists from very different fields: from revered composers such as Kaija Saariaho and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to visual artist/composer Martin Creed…We hope that this new repertoire will have a life beyond this very special moment.’

The opening gala concert on March 18 2014 will feature the premieres of new works Monument for Beethoven by Tavener and a piece for organ, brass and youth choir, A Wall of Music by Maxwell Davies. Succeeding this will be an array of co-commissions and more premieres making this year an exciting one for some of the leading composers of today.

Southbank Centre has commissioned the following for the upcoming organ festival:

March 18 2014
John Tavener
Monument for Beethoven
John Scott, organ
The Elysian Singers

Peter Maxwell Davies
A Wall of Music
David Goode (organ), children from Southbank Centre’s Voicelab; The Sage, Gateshead; Bridgewater Hall, Manchester; and Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham, with brass players from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Youth Brass, conducted by Jessica Cottis.

March 24 2014
Judith Weir
The Wild Reeds (London Premiere)
Thomas Trotter, organ

March 30 2014
Martin Creed
Work No 1815
James McVinnie, organ

June 26 2014
Kaija Saariaho
Maan varjot (Earth's Shadows) for organ & orchestra (UK premiere)
Olivier Latry, organ
Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

Co-commission with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de Lyon, and the Philharmonia Orchestra.

October 18 2014
Terry Riley
At the Royal Majestic UK premiere
Cameron Carpenter, organ
BBC Concert Orchestra; André de Ridder, conductor

Co-commission with Los Angeles Philharmonic, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin.

December 10 2014
Simon Holt
The Legend of Melusine for Boy treble and organ
Martin Baker, organ

Joint commission with the Royal College of Organists

Full details of the concerts and booking information can be found here.

A short film about the reinstallation of the organ: