Saturday 26 January 2013

Ashley Grote Big Screen Organ Recital

On Thursday 24th January 2013 I attended the big screen lunchtime organ recital at Norwich Cathedral performed by the Cathedral's Master of Music Ashley Grote. The programme consisted of Allegro from Symphonie II in E minor Op 20 - Vierne, Prelude and Fugue in D BWV 532 - Bach, Choral Song and Fugue - Wesley and Variations sur un vieux Noel Op 20 - Dupre.

Ashley Grote was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge and continued his education as a music scholar at Uppingham School. After a year as organ scholar at St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, he returned to study for a degree in music as King's College, Cambridge. As organ scholar at King's he performed internationally with the world-famous choir and accompanied numerous recordings, radio and television broadcasts including the annual 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols'.

Ashley has subsequently held posts as Organist-in-residence at Tonbridge School (2004-05), assistant Organist at Westminster Abbey (2005-08) and assistant Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral (2008-12). During his time at Gloucester, he has performed in the Three Choirs Festival, the Cheltenham Music Festival, with Gloucester and Bristol Choral Societies, the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras. He has also directed the Cathedral's flourishing Youth Choir, Ross-on-Wye Choral Society and the St Cecilia Singers, a Gloucester-based chamber choir. Ashley was also involved in the Edington Music Festival, first as Organist (2007-09) and then Director (2010-12).

Ashley has studied the organ with Nicolas Kynaston in London since 2002. As a soloist and accompanist he has performed throughout the UK, USA and Europe and been broadcast extensively on BBC Radio and Television. His first solo recording of organ symphonies by Louis Viente was released in June.

Despite the freezing weather conditions, an audience of over 70 spectators witnessed Ashley Grote perform a number of organ classics during the 40 minute recital. This was a brilliant way to spend my lunchtime with Norwich Cathedral being only a 10 minute walk from work for me. The programme of music was very varied and evoked lots of different emotions during the recital. These lunchtime recital are a wonderful idea by Norwich Cathedral and I'm already looking forward to the next one in February.

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