“To improve the standard of music in our city”, was the hope of Sir Henry Brett when he donated Auckland’s original town hall organ in 1911. With 2021 being the 110th anniversary of both the former mayor’s magnificent gift and the equally magnificent town hall, the Auckland Town Hall Organ Trust will respond to Henry Brett’s fervent wish.
There is no doubt, music making in the Queen City has advanced to an international standard over the past century, and the country’s leading concert instrument in the town hall has certainly had a part to play. This year the Organ Trust’s four concerts will showcase some of the city’s leading musicians.
23 May (2pm): Emerging Talent – four young organists, currently studying at university, will demonstrate their remarkable skills in a wide-ranging concert.
15 August (2pm): Dr Indra Hughes will present a programme that includes Liszt’s famous Fantasy and Fugue on the Chorale, Ad nos ad salutarem undam, one of the great works in the organ repertoire.
26 September (2:30pm): Nicholas Forbes, DoM at the cathedral of St Patrick and St Joseph in Auckland, will join the Auckland Youth Orchestra in Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ’ Symphony. This concert will also go on tour to Hamilton (11 Sept.), Thames (12 Sept.), and Napier (18 Sept).
21 November (2pm): Dr John Wells, former City Organist, will round off this year of celebration.
All Auckland concerts are free and begin at 2pm with the exception of the Auckland Youth Orchestra concert (26 Sep) which will have a 2.30 start.
HIDDEN BEHIND the beautiful 1911 façade is an array of thousands of pipes, dozens of bellows, and a network of sophisticated wiring and technology. The 2010 Orgelbau Klais organ at the Auckland Town Hall (303 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand) has gained a reputation as one of the world’s finest concert hall instruments, a reputation endorsed by leading international organists.