Hereford Cathedral will welcome the organist of Westminster Cathedral, Martin Baker, to perform a gala organ concert on Tuesday 17 September at 7.15 pm.
Baker took up his current position as master of music at Westminster Cathedral in 2000. Previous to this he was assistant organist at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and sub-organist at Westminster Abbey. Under his direction, Westminster Cathedral Choir has premiered works by major British composers including James MacMillan, Peter Maxwell Davies, Judith Bingham and John Tavener. Baker was also chosen as president of the Royal College of Organists in 2017.
At the Gala Concert, Baker will be performing Bach’s great Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor alongside an improvisation piece. Described as ‘awe-inspiring’ and ‘sensational’, Baker’s work as an improviser is known world-wide for its unique flair, blending technical ingenuity and exhilaration. The concert will conclude with Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which was originally written for solo piano. Pictures at an Exhibition is a musical depiction of a journey around an imaginary showcase of sketches by Viktor Hartmann (a close friend of Mussorgsky), with which the composer felt a particular connection.
Peter Dyke, Assistant Director of Music at Hereford Cathedral, said “Martin is a spectacular player, and his skills at improvising – making music up on the spot – are truly awe-inspiring. It will be tremendously exciting to hear him bring to life the full power and colour of the great Willis organ.”
The concert starts at 7.15 pm on Tuesday 17 September and tickets (£12, £5 for students) are available in the cathedral shop or at the door.