We’ve partnered with Kirklees Council’s Concert Series and The University of Huddersfield to bring classical music concerts from Huddersfield Town Hall to your home.
Much-loved Kirklees Borough Organist Gordon Stewart will play the 1860 Father Willis Organ during the fortnightly concerts starting on Mon 14 September with an introduction and demonstration of the famous instrument.
A series of six concerts will follow each fortnight on Mondays at 1pm with an array of music from composers including Handel, Bach, Carter and Mendelssohn ending with a final Christmas concert in December. Each concert will last around an hour. If you can’t tune in on the day you’ll be able to watch the following day via our YouTube channel.
Highlights include special guest Tom Osborne, Hallé Orchestra’s co-principle trumpeter, who joins the musical celebrations on 12 October and 9 November with programmes stretching from Padre Martini to Ennio Morricone. Tom will play cornet showpieces Höhne’s Slavische Fantasie, Telemann’s Concerto in D and Noel Rawsthorne’s Aria.
You will also be treated to a Huddersfield premiere on October 26 with Bach’s Chorale from Cantata 80. Despite the final movement being one of Bach’s most complex featuring chorus, brass and strings, it has been arranged by the American composer Gerald Near as an organ solo.
Dates for your diary
Mon 14 September, 1pm
Gordon Stewart introduces the series and demonstrates the famous Father Willis organ.
Mon 28 September, 1pm
The series opens with a typical Town Hall programme including Handel’s Overture to the Occasional Oratorio, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A Minor and Tombelle’s Toccata.
Mon 5 October, 1pm
The next in the series of Huddersfield Town Hall’s streamed organ concerts will be a celebration of the 103rd birthday of the great British organist and composer Francis Jackson, available from 1pm on Monday 5 October.
Kirklees Borough Organist Dr Gordon Stewart will perform three works by Jackson – best known for his long tenure as organist and director of music at York Minster – and share a previously unheard archive interview with him during the concert.
Dr Gordon Stewart comments:
“Following our celebration of Francis Jackson’s centenary year with a memorable Huddersfield concert in 2017, we’re delighted to able to mark his birthday again this year, and to reach a wider audience than ever as our season of streamed events continues.
“The programme includes Francis’ first published work, which he wrote during World War II, and I’m very excited to share a chat that I had with him about five years ago, which is full of great stories about his long life in music, going back to his time as a chorister under Sir Edward Bairstow.”
Mon 12 October, 1pm
Gordon is joined by special guest Tom Osborne, co-principal trumpet of the Hallé Orchestra, in a programme stretching from Padre Martini to Ennio Morricone.
Mon 26 October, 1pm
Bach’s Cantata 80 is based on Luther’s chorale, Ein’ feste Burg ist unser Gott. The final movement, one of Bach’s most complex, features chorus, brass and strings. It has been arranged by the American composer Gerald Near as an organ solo; this will be its Huddersfield premier.
Mon 9 November, 1pm
To celebrate the restoration of the Father Willis organ in 1998 Noel Rawsthorne was asked to write a piece which was performed at a Gala Concert. He was asked for ‘concert music’ and came up with the idea of a suite of dances. They are dedicated to Gordon Stewart who has played them four continents! Tom Osborne makes a guest appearance to play Telemann’s Concerto in D and Noel Rawsthorne’s Aria.
Mon 23 November, 1pm
Towards the end of his life Noel Rawsthorne was writing a partita based on the chorale Ein’ feste Burg dedicated to Gordon Stewart. Following his death his widow sent the movements which had been completed to Gordon Stewart. Sadly the final movement was incomplete, so Gordon commissioned the organist, pianist and composer Ben Comeau to write the proposed Fugue and Toccata. Today’s performance is the world premier.
Mon 7 December, 1pm
With Christmas just round the corner Gordon Stewart plays a programme featuring music based on Christmas themes from four countries. Local composer Robert Cockroft is included with his charming Variations on a New Noël.
How to tune in
You will be able to watch the concerts by visiting either our YouTube or Facebook pages on the dates outlined above. If you can’t tune in on the day you’ll be able to watch the following day via our YouTube channel.
The Kirklees Concert Season is delivered in partnership with Opera North across the district, in both Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Halls, as well as running engagement programmes. Due to COVID, the season will not be performed to an audience until January 2021.
We want you to enjoy these concerts and if you are able to support our programme of online concerts, ‘pay as you feel’ and donate below.
Click here to find out more about the Kirklees Concert Season.
Click here to find out more about Opera North.