News Column

Music for meandering - organ promenades at York Minster

May 27, 2014

Fridays at 1.15pm, from 30 May to 20 June 2014 Listening to the organists rehearse on the great pipe organ in York Minster as they wander around is often one of the highlights for visitors, but for the next four Fridays, lunchtime visitors can enjoy a series of informal performances by guest musicians and York Minster’s own organists.

The Organ Promenades will take place at 1.15pm on Friday 30 May, 6, 13 and 20 June, and will see five top musicians take masterful control of the Grand Organ, built in 1903 and which is more often used to accompany services in both the Nave and the Quire.

“York Minster has superb acoustics, and the organ makes full use of this to function as an enormous ‘sounding box’, with the music resonating in every corner, but there is quite a different sound depending on where you sit or stand.  These promenade performances enable visitors to enjoy the music as they wander around the Minster, although if they prefer to sit and enjoy, they are more than welcome to do so,” comments director of music, Robert Sharpe.  “Indeed, we all play from the console located within the Nave, so you can not only hear the music, but also watch the organist using the stops to change the sound of the instrument as he plays.”

The Promenade Performances start this Friday, 30 May, with Anthony Gritten of the Royal Academy of MusicRobert Patterson, who trained as an organ scholar in York Minster and has since performed in cathedrals around the country, returns to his alma mater on 6 June.  John Bradbury, a former director of music at University College School, now settled in York will take to the console on Friday 13 June.  The season is rounded off by York Minster’s Robert Sharpe and David Pipe on 20 June, and will include unusual duets to give the organ’s pipes a musical workout.

Visitors can enjoy all of the musical performances with a single admission ticket to York Minster, as each admission ticket is valid for a full 12 months of visits, including access to the Revealing York Minster attraction in the Undercroft, The Orb, stone mason and glazier exhibitions in the East End and, of course, the whole of the main Cathedral and Chapter House.

Admission prices are £10.00 for adults and £9.00 for concessions. Children go free with a paying adult.  York Minster is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm (12.45pm to 5.00pm on Sundays).  For more information, please visit


For further media information, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel: 01904 500698


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