World premiere celebrating the return of Minster grand organ

A NEW composition written to celebrate the return of York Minster’s grand organ following a once-in-a-century refurbishment will receive its world premiere on Sunday.

The piece, ‘Toccata on ‘Wachet Auf’ written by David Halls, is the winning entry in the aged 19 and over category of the grand organ composers’ competition, which was launched in June to mark the instrument’s return after a £2 million refurbishment project which started in 2018.

The competition, run in partnership with the Cathedral Music Trust and edges Music Publications, attracted more than 60 entries from amateur and specialized musicians across two categories – aged 19 and over and 18 and under.

Ben Morris, York Minster’s assistant director of Music, said: “We were delighted with the response to the competition which attracted a high calibre of entries.

“It’s been fantastic to be able to invite people to be part of this landmark project, adding to this high musical history.”

The winning piece will receive its world premiere on Sunday at the cathedral’s arrival Procession service.

The winner of the 18 and under category will be announced next month ahead of the winning composition receiving its first performances during the Minster’s Nine Lessons and Carol sets.

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