ORGANIST Anna Lapwood is coming to Salisbury Catherdal.

She will be performing on Saturday, July 23, as part of the Organ Festival.

Anna, who is also a conductor and broadcaster as well as Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge,has performed across Europe and opened the BAFTA TV awards in 2019 and last year made her BBC Proms debut as soloist in Saint-Saëns ‘Organ’ Symphony with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

Most recently, she performed with DJ Bonobo at the Royal Albert Hall which went viral online.

It has been a few years since Anna brought her choir from Cambridge to the cathedral for a residency, which was before the restoration of the Father Willis Organ.

“I am really excited to be going back in my own capacity as an organist as opposed to a choir director. It is such a special venue.”

This year’s Organ Festival celebrates the return of the cathedral’s Father Willis organ after extensive maintenance and restoration work was carried out throughout 2019. It came back into use in February 2020.

Speaking about being able to play the newly-restored organ, Anna said: “Every instrument is so different and has a different character. It is sort of inextricably linked with the venue too so it is like the Cathedral is almost part of the instrument and you’re playing the building as much as you’re playing the actual organ.

“The music I’m playing is a lot of orchestral transcriptions so orchestral pieces rearranged for the organ and you need a really big instrument like the one in Salisbury and really big venue as well to add to the atmosphere. So I think it could be rather exciting.”

Anna started off playing the piano and says she tried loads of different instruments but had been set on being a harpist for a long time until her mum suggested taking up the organ when she was a teenager.

“At first I was a typical teenager being like ‘don’t be ridiculous mum I hate the organ it’s a silly instrument. Then I ended up taking it up and at first I hated it because I found it really hard. But the more I stuck at it and really preserved the more I fell in love with it.”

She then received an organ scholarship at university which “kicked off everything”.

On her “amazing” performance with musician Bonobo, she said she had been practising at the Albert Hall and got requests from his band on the stage to play Bach. She then got an invite to perform with them at their show.

“It was like my musical world just got blown so wide open through that one performance. It reminded me that good music really does transcend genre. It can be so easy whatever genre you’re working in as a musician to get a bit tunnel visioned and you need things like that every now and then to recalibrate and open you horizons a bit more.”

When asked who she would love to collaborate with Anna said she would love to perform with film score composer Hans Zimmer and Adele.

The concert starts at 7pm. 

"People who haven't ever gone to an organ concert are so welcome and I hope it will be a really interesting thing for organists and non organists alike and be a really lovely evening of entertainment," adds Anna. 

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