Music at GMC

Battle of the Organs

Concert: Battle of the Organs
Date: 7.30pm, Saturday 13th October, 2012
Organists: Professor Ian Tracey (Liverpool Cathedral)
Keith Hearnshaw (Concert Organist)

Professor Ian Tracey is Organist Titulaire at Liverpool Cathedral and also Organist to the City of Liverpool. He is no stranger to GMC, having entertained us on numerous occasions before with his inimitable brand of consummate musicianship and fascinating anecdotes.
To mark his eighth visit, Ian was joined by the talented concert organist, Keith Hearnshaw and they presented an exciting ‘Battle of the Organs’! There was also a new electronic Copeman Hart touring organ in the Church to join in battle with our historic Sweetland organ.
This was the concert of a lifetime and will stick in everyone's memory for a long time!


  • {Duet} Firework Music - GF Handel (arr. Biggs)
    I-Overture, II-The Rejoicing, III-The Peace, IV-Bourrée, V-Minuet, Finale
  • {IT} Chaconne in D minor - JS Bach (arr. Goss-Custard)
  • {KH} Offertorio - Jesus Guridi
  • {Duet} Concierto nr. 1 (Para Dos Organos) - Antonio Soler
  • {IT} Elegy (Organ Symphony in G minor) - Percy Whitlock
  • {KH} Christos Patterakis - Roy Perry
  • {Duet} Crown Imperial (Coronation March) - William Walton
  • {Duet} Te Deum Prelude - Marc Antoine Charpentier
  • {KH} Clair de lune - David Briggs
  • {IT} Scherzo in G Minor (Op. 49 , No. 2) - Marco Enrico Bossi
  • {Duet} Eine Kleine Nichtmusic - PDQ Bach
  • {KH} Toccata from Suite Gothique - Leon Boëllmann
  • {IT} Pavane from Rhythmic Suite - Robert Elmore
  • {Duet} Grand Chœur Dialogué - Eugène Gigout
  • {All} Jerusalem - Charles Hubert Parry

PROFESSOR IAN TRACEY has had a life-long association with Liverpool Cathedral and its music, and with his two illustrious predecessors, continues the tradition of an almost apostolic succession. He studied organ with Lewis Rust, then with his immediate precursor Noel Rawsthorne. Studies at Trinity College, London, culminated in Fellowship, after which, scholarship grants enabled him to continue his studies in Paris, with both Andre Isoir and Jean Langlais.

In 1980 he became the youngest Cathedral Organist in the Country, and after 27 years service in 2007, the Dean & Chapter created the post of 'Organist Titulaire', allowing him the freedom to devote more time to playing, lecturing, recording and writing. Since his appointment in 1980, he has played most of the major venues in this country, and an increasing number in Europe. Very much in demand in the U.S.A., he has made twenty-three extensive tours, playing in all the major Cities and in 1999 & 2003 undertook major tours of Southern Australia, recitaling, examining and teaching. The past two seasons have included concerts in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Bermuda, Paris, Germany and Spain. He again returned to Germany in 2010 and will again tour Germany and USA in 2011.

On the wider musical canvas, he is a frequent broadcaster with the B.B.C. and a regular soloist at the Proms. His recordings on the Cathedral Organ have met with wide acclaim from the critics, recording for E.M.I., CHANDOS and PRIORY. He regularly examines and adjudicates and, over the past 24 years, has conducted 200 concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. He holds Fellowships from twenty prestigious musical institutions both here and abroad, including the Royal College of Organists, as one of only 28 Honorary Fellows worldwide. In 2006, the University of Liverpool conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Music, both in recognition of his long and distinguished service to music in Liverpool and of his national and international reputation. In 2008, the Royal School of Church Music and in 2009, the Guild of Church Musicians, awarded him Fellowships for distinguished services to church music and international reputation as a church musician.

His other posts include: Organist to the City of Liverpool; at St. George's Hall; Chorus Master to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society; Guest Director of Music for the BBC Daily Service, Professor, Fellow and Organist at Liverpool, John Moores University and past president of the Incorporated Association of Organists of Great Britain.

KEITH HEARNSHAW was born in West Bromwich and began learning the organ at the age of thirteen. He spent four years at Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied with David Saint and also with Mark Shepherd at Lichfield Cathedral. During this time, he gained his associateship diploma of both the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Organists.

While studying in Birmingham, Keith held the position of organ scholar at St Chad's RC Cathedral under John Pryer. He was later assistant organist at St Columba's Parish Church, Sutton Coldfield and toured Germany with both of these choirs. In 1991 he was a prize winner at the Oundle International Organ Festival and in 1993 was awarded the Leonard Gibbons Memorial Prize by the Birmingham Organists' Association. From September 1994-95 he was organ scholar at Lincoln Cathedral studying with Colin Walsh.

In July 1997 he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, whilst studying with Andrew Fletcher and Kevin Bowyer. From September 1997-98 Keith was organ scholar at Liverpool Cathedral under Professor Ian Tracey. The Cathedral houses the mighty 152-stop Willis organ - one of the largest church organs in Europe!

As a recitalist, Keith has performed throughout this country and in Europe, including Kleve in Germany, Liverpool Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Alexandra Palace, London, Doesburg in Holland, Bruges in Belgium, Rochdale Town Hall, Victoria Hall, Hanley, Hereford and Westminster Cathedrals and Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Keith was in Guernsey in March 2003 and 2006 as both Recitalist and 'Ambassador' in a very successful RSCM children's day. He has also been involved in two 'Family Organ Days' at the Victoria Hall, Stoke on Trent. He has made a number of radio and TV appearances including BBC Radio 2's 'The Organist Entertains' recent show marking Elgar's 150th anniversary. Keith has a number of recordings available on CD. Twice a year Keith is also responsible for producing the recordings for the Royal College of Organists' Aural Tests for their diploma examinations. For the RCO Keith recorded the sound track for an animation DVD to inspire youngsters to take up the organ. This was released in the summer of 2008 and won the Innovation Category BBC Connect & Create Awards in 2009.

Keith is much in demand as a Concert Organist playing an increasing number of solo concerts every year. He has twice been a guest organist playing duets with the 'Pavarotti of the Organ', the late american virtuoso, Carlo Curley in his London Christmas Concerts. In the summer of 2004 and again in the autumn of 2005, Keith played friendly 'Battle of the Organs' concerts with Carlo in the Exmouth Festival, Pershore Abbey and at the Lavenham Festival. In July 2004 he played one of the IAO National Congress Recitals at All Saint's PC in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. In July 2007, Keith appeared alongside Carlo Curley in the King's Lynn Festival. January 2008 saw Keith in Sweden playing duets in Gothenburg with Carlo and also in East Sussex. In April 2008 he was duetting with Carlo on the 30,000 pipe, 6-manual Grand Court Wanamaker Organ at Macey's Store, Philadelphia, USA - the largest fully working pipe organ in the world! Keith is also the principal organist at Redditch Crematorium.

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