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Christopher Herrick


'Herrick is a musician with a powerful urge to communicate. And communicate he does, drawing on his enormous technical and intellectual resources to turn out performances which sometimes amaze, often astound, but never fail to stimulate.'


Christopher Herrick’s career as one of the world’s leading concert organists is based on firm foundations. As a boy he was a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, singing in the 1953 Coronation and later that year going on a three-month tour of North America in which the choir performed over forty concerts. Later he was Organ Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, and post-graduate Boult Scholar at the Royal College of Music. He was then invited back to be Assistant Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, followed by ten years at Westminster Abbey; here he played for many prestigious events including Lord Mountbatten’s Royal Ceremonial Funeral, as well as Sir William Walton’s eightieth birthday concert and his funeral service a year later.

In 1984 Hyperion Records recorded the album ‘Organ Fireworks’ on the Westminster Abbey organ, including Herbert Brewer’s ‘Marche Héroïque’ which Herrick played as Mountbatten’s coffin was carried from the Abbey. Since then, as an exclusive Hyperion artist he has recorded nearly fifty albums, including fourteen ‘Organ Fireworks’ programmes recorded on magnificent organs all over the world, as well as the complete organ works of J.S. Bach on Metzler organs in Switzerland.

Christopher Herrick’s many broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 include the Organ Prom during the 1994 Henry Wood Promenade 100th Season. The BBC also recorded all eight organ sonatas by Alexandre Guilmant on the van den Heuvel organ in Katwijk aan Zee in the Netherlands and sponsored a notable trip behind the Iron Curtain to record the big Liszt and Mendelssohn organ works on the historic Ladegast organ in Merseburg Cathedral; this led to an invitation in 1987 by the GDR State Artists’ Agency to give ten concerts, less than two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

After his Russian debut in 2013 at the St Petersburg White Nights Festival in the Mariinsky Concert Hall, Christopher was immediately invited back to play a complete Bach cycle in twelve concerts during the first half of 2014. This echoes his previous 1998 New York marathon at the Lincoln Center Festival in Alice Tully Hall, where he presented Bach’s complete organ works in fourteen concerts on fourteen consecutive days. This was rewarded with a stunning review in the New York Times:

'He is a virtuoso, no question. He was at the peak of his considerable form, combining precision with panache, interpretive freedom with sheer joy in virtuosity. The playing was,
in a word, triumphal.'

During a busy international concert schedule, he has had the pleasure and privilege of encountering organs of every conceivable style. As he reaches his ninth decade, he hopes to continue playing concerts in cathedrals, concert halls or churches wherever there is a fine organ.



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