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Newly Restored Royal Albert Hall Organ

We thought you’d be interested to know that the Royal Albert Hall will mark the completion of the great Organ’s first major refurbishment for 70 years by holding a Celebration Weekend in June and commissioning a new work for organ by leading British composer Howard Goodall for the occasion.

The Royal Albert Hall’s Willis Organ was originally built to be one of the finest, largest and tonally most comprehensive instruments in the world. In fact, following the refurbishment, the Organ can now re-claim its position as the largest in the UK, boasting 9,999 pipes. The recent refurbishment began in 2001, at a cost of £1,700,000. The work has been carried out by Mander Organs as part of the Hall’s eight-year Building Development Programme. The enormous project has restored the magnificent instrument to a condition that will ensure its reliability for generations to come.

To celebrate the completion of the restoration, we’re holding a weekend of concerts. On Saturday 26 June 2004at 7.30pm there’s the Inaugural Organ Concert. Discover the magnificent power, versatility and richness of expression of the instrument as three renowned organists, David Briggs, John Scott and Thomas Trotter perform a programme of virtuoso works by Bach, Poulenc, Barber, Liszt and Copland.

Then we’re pulling out all the stops with Pipe Up at the Royal Albert Hall!, a concert suitable for all the family on Sunday 27 June 2004 at 3.30pm. Join us for the world premiere of Jason and the Argonauts, a Royal Albert Hall commission by leading British composer Howard Goodall, based on the famous story from Greek mythology and performed by Thomas Trotter. The piece features text by the Irish Poet, Theo Dorgan and uses the ‘voices’ of the Organ to tell the tale. This is preceded by Saint-Saëns’ glorious zoological fantasy, Carnival of the Animals.

Families can also extend their afternoon even further and come along to our free family workshops! Fun and informal, these will take place in the Royal Albert Hall and are based on the music that will be performed at the concert. Discover how an organ is built and create some sounds of your own, or join in with the Carnival of the Animals workshop. Tickets for the workshop are free when you buy your concert tickets, available on a first-come, first-served basis and subject to availability. Information and an application pack will be sent with the tickets.

For further details about the concerts or to book, please call the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on 020 7838 3106 or book online at www.royalalberthall.com. Tickets are priced from £10 – £27.50 for the Inaugural Organ Concert and £5 – £15 for Pipe Up at the Royal Albert Hall!

Come and experience the power and majesty of the Royal Albert Hall’s great ‘Willis’ Organ as it returns to the world’s stage. We’d be grateful if you’d help us spread the word and look forward to welcoming you to the Royal Albert Hall for this exciting and historic weekend!