A new organ at the Royal College of Music in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall will be unveiled to the public in Spring 2018. The organ has been custom-built for the hall by Dutch company Flentrop Orgelbouw, who has also built and restored organs in the Adolphus Busch Hall at Harvard University and in St Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle.
The organ has been specially designed to suit the aesthetic and acoustics of the hall, with 34 stops over three manuals and pedals. It features a set of large bellows with fairly low wind pressure, which will achieve a warm tone to match the vibrant acoustic of the space. The gilding on the French oak case of the instrument reflects the hall’s decoration.
'We wanted to install a truly musical instrument,' says Stephen Johns, Artistic Director of the Royal College of Music. 'We wanted an emphasis on presence of sound and beauty of tone, skilfully voiced for the particular acoustic of the beautiful hall in which it would stand.'
The installation of the organ is part of RCM’s More Music project, which involves renovating and transforming its current facilities. The College currently has six practise organs, and this new addition is replacing a century-old instrument, no longer in working order.
To celebrate its new organ, the Royal College of Music will be hosting an organ festival on 25 February 2018. This event will feature performances of pieces composed by RCM alumni, including Vaughan Williams and Parry, alongside new works by RCM composers. To conclude the day, concert organist Thomas Trotter will perform Parry’s Fantasia and Fugue in G major.