Music in Bloomsbury with Organists Online
Organ Day  29 January 2022
3.30 - 5.00

Dame Gillian Weir


This year, Dame Gillian's masterclass will concentrate on a repertoire from the Romantic English tradition, particularly featuring:

There will be places for five participants in the masterclass.  Just three conditions are stipulated:

To be considered for the masterclass, please click HERE.

"The organ world will never be quite the same again”, wrote the distinguished critic John Allison after Gillian Weir's final public performance, given to a capacity audience of several thousand in December 2012 at Westminster Cathedral. For nearly five decades she had criss-crossed the globe as a stellar concert organist, acclaimed by critics and concert-goers alike, playing in the world's greatest concert venues and festivals and with leading orchestras and conductors, and bringing huge new audiences to the organ via her television appearances. Her début, after winning the St Albans International Organ Competition while still a scholarship student at the Royal College of Music, had been as concerto soloist in the Royal Albert Hall on the First Night of the Proms, followed immediately by a solo recital at the Royal Festival Hall.

Since then Gillian Weir has given some two thousand performances all over the world, including over fifty at London's Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall and many at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as in similarly famous venues throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia; and she is renowned as an ambassador for the organ. She has given many premières, including concertos commissioned by the BBC, the Royal Philharmonic Society, Festival Societies and others, and has been seen frequently on television, notably in her six-part BBC series The King of Instruments (which in Britain alone drew a weekly audience of two million) and as the subject of the prestigious South Bank Show (ITV), as well as such documentaries as the BBC’s Omnibus, and Toccata: Two Weeks in the Life of Gillian Weir.

Her remarkable career is summed up by tributes from such as Ivan Hewitt, who wrote in the Daily Telegraph: "There is no organist in the world quite so starry and honoured as Gillian Weir", or Rick Jones of the Evening Standard (on her winning its Outstanding Solo Performance Award): "She can play anything; she is one of those musicians who are natural-born, and that's what makes her unique". When she was the subject of The South Bank Show (still the only organist to have been featured) Melvyn Bragg stated: "Above all she has convinced audiences that the organ is more than a collection of pipes to marvel at, but a solo instrument in its own right". Her recordings bring similar accolades; recently the famous author and critic Alec Ross wrote of her Messiaen CDs (the first set to be issued complete): "When I reviewed a great pile of Messiaen's organ discs for Fanfare magazine [..] I came to the conclusion that Weir's cycle reigned supreme”. She is acclaimed particularly as a pre-eminent exponent of the music of Messiaen, her recordings having frequently been hailed as “definitive”; the composer gave her the manuscript of his monumental Meditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité for her UK première of the piece and she has given many performances of the complete works throughout the world, as well as lecturing, broadcasting and writing extensively on the oeuvre including contributing the section on the organ music to Faber and Faber’s The Messiaen Companion.

Gillian Weir has performed the complete organ works of Bach more than once and was the first organist to be invited to play the long-awaited new Millennium organ for Bach's own church of St Thomas in Leipzig, welcoming the organ with a performance of his ClavierÜbung Part III. A CD followed with The Eighteen Leipzig Chorales and other works recorded on this organ, and with her other recordings of Bach's works was hailed with such tributes as "156 minutes of organ bliss!" and "Her playing really is beyond all praise" (Gramophone).

Created CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1989, she was made Dame Commander in 1996. The latest in the many honours conferred on Dame Gillian is to have been welcomed as an Hon Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, joining such luminaries as Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten. She remains a much sought-after teacher, writer, and competition adjudicator, as well as engaging in a variety of musical activities including supporting young players.

As a tribute on her 80th birthday in January 2021 Decca released a box-set of 22 CDs, newly transferred from archive LPs, and also from BBC recordings hitherto not available commercially or on CD. This is the largest release of the kind made for any organist, and it brought a cornucopia of praise from music and recording magazines (some of which can be seen on her website - see below).

Find out more about Dame Gillian at


Please include (numbered the same as the list below:

  1. Your name;
  2. Contact telephone number;
  3. Contact email address;
  4. The piece you would like to play (including a second choice so that we can balance the programme;
  5. A few details about yourself.

Please email your registration below

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