Welcome to the official website of the Incorporated Association of Organists
Welcome to the website of the Incorporated Association of Organists (IAO). We are a registered charity set up to provide information, support, education and training to organists, choir trainers and organist enthusiasts. With over 5,000 members worldwide and 90 affiliated associations, we are an influential voice in the classical music world, representing our members on important issues and providing a strong network.
Our quarterly magazine Organists’ Review is the leading publication for lovers of the organ and its music. It is packed full of latest news and events in the organ world with topical articles, in depth features on current themes and regular new music and CD reviews. Organists’ Review is available either through local associations or by direct subscription.
In February/March each year we promote the London Organ Day, a day of related events given by nationally known performers in an interesting venue (2013, Royal festival Hall; 2014, St George’s Hanover Square, 2015, Westminster Central Hall), 2016 Southwark Cathedral and in 2017 at the Dutch Church.
In the Autumn we promote OrganFest, held in varying locations outside London (Birmingham in 2014 and 2015, Edinburgh in 2016, Hull in 2017) and takes place over a weekend. OrganFest is organised jointly with the Royal College of Organists (RCO) and the British Institute of Organ Studies (BIOS).
Each year we organise a five day Music Festival (formerly Congress); a chance for our members to gather in one place and enjoy the beauty of organ music, often in a place of historic interest. The Festival comprises a programme of recitals, organ demonstrations, masterclasses, lectures and out of town visits, featuring the organ and the wider world of classical music. The 2017 Festival was held in the historic university city of Oxford – “city of dreaming spires”. Oxford is home to the country’s oldest university and its colleges and university buildings boast a wealth of wonderful architecture, much of which is built of a particularly beautiful Cotswold stone. The Festival included visits to five different colleges, with recitals at The Queen’s College (Frobenius ii, 1965), Keble College (Tickell iv, 2011), Merton College (Dobson iii, 2013), St John’s College (Aubertin iii, 2008) and Exeter College (Walker ii, 1994).
The 2017 Festival also included a half day visit to Blenheim Palace, with a guided tour of the Palace where we heard the famous organ in the Long Library (Willis, iv, 1891). There was also a day trip to Eton College where we were given a guided tour to see and hear some of the college’s collection of five organs, including the organ in College Chapel (Hill iv, 1885).
If you are interested in the world of the organ, whether as performer or audience, amateur or professional, please take a look through our website and get in touch if you would like to join us in exploring ‘The King of Instruments’. In particular, we would love to welcome you to the Festival, where you can enjoy the company of like-minded people, make new friends and experience world-class musicians performing great music in wonderful venues.
You can find out more about the activities and performances in your local area through our affiliated local associations. I encourage you to go along and see what they do.
Peter King, immediate Past President