FESTIVAL invitation


For more details, click on the links above for each day’s programme


Steven Grahl

Peterborough Cathedral

An invitation to the IAO’s Music Festival,
from our President, Steven Grahl



The 2018 IAO Music Festival will be held in Peterborough.  A well-connected and attractive city, Peterborough’s iconic Norman cathedral, with its recently re-pitched Hill organ, is the venue for many of the events.  There is a day trip to Cambridge, where festival-goers will be able to enjoy hearing a number of instruments, including a concert at King’s College, Cambridge.  A particularly exciting development is the inclusion of an organ competition jointly promoted by the IAO and Royal College of Organists (see link at the foot of this page).  This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear gifted players in the early stages of their careers in two Cambridge semi-final rounds, and a final to be held in Peterborough Cathedral. There will also be an improvisation masterclass, given by Martin Baker.

The Festival programme will incorporate two important anniversaries: the Centenary of the First World War will be reflected in the song recital, and in the evening concert to be given by Schola Cantorum of Oxford, Oxford University’s première chamber choir.  The 350th anniversary of the birth of François Couperin will be celebrated in Edward Higginbottom’s Harpsichord Recital, and in the repertoire for the organ competition.  A visit to Burghley House will provide the opportunity to hear the unique 1790 instrument, as well as tour one of the grandest houses of the first Elizabethan age.  Back in Peterborough, the ‘Behind the Pipes’ talk will give a fascinating insight into the re-pitching work on the Hill organ, including a video relay from inside the organcase.

Distinguished artists include Professor Edward Higginbottom, former Director of Music at New College, Oxford; Martin Baker, President of the RCO and Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral; and Richard Pinel, Fellow and Director of Music at Jesus College, Cambridge.  I do hope that you will join us for what promises to be a stimulating and entertaining Festival.

Steven Grahl, President.


A link containing full details & an application form for the IAO-RCO Organ Playing Competition (open to those aged 18-25) is available HERE.