Saturday 24th March
I was so moved and thrilled by the Nottingham Bach Choir & Orchestra's St John Passion on the eve of Palm Sunday. The choir had been on tremendous form all term and to conduct a flowing and emotionally charged performance, with Ruairi Bowen on compelling form as Evangelist was a real treat for me, especially as it's my last with NBC before retiring after 30 years, in June 2019.
Sunday 4th March
My birthday on 4th March was celebrated in grand style as I gave an organ recital at St Paul's cathedral. It's always a thrill and a challenge playing that colossal instrument—and that colossal acoustic—and I was determined to display as many of its colours as I could. Michael Broadway—who keeps the organ miraculously in perfect tune - was kind enough to say how much he enjoyed my registrations, particularly the prominent use of the Willis III Contra Bass in a pedal solo, the massed strings, and the Trompette Militaire. Despite the appalling weather there was a good turn-out, and my former organ scholar Peter Holder, now Sub Organist at Westminster Abbey, was good enough to turn pages for me despite a busy day at the Abbey. All in all, a memorable 66th birthday!