Organ music of the highest quality – masterful, yet approachable – is played by world-famous professional organists at St Swithun’s Church in Retford, with the emphasis on the high quality of the recitalists.
It’s because of this that the series has been very successful, with good attendance at all events. And it has shown the quality of the organ at St Swithun’s, with organists almost queuing-up to play.
Light lunches are available from 12.15pm and the recital starts at 1.00pm. Admission is free, but there is a retiring collection, which goes to the organ maintenance fund. These happen every third Thursday of each month until October, with a different organist each month.
The recitalist on 15th September will be Michael Overbury. Organist and harpsichordist Michael Overbury’s early musical influences centred on Farnham and London. At his local Parish Church, St Andrew’s, he was introduced as chorister and Assistant Organist to the glories of the English liturgical tradition, and it was here also that his organ teacher Stephen Thomson inspired in him a love of the harpsichord.
Horizons broadened with an Organ Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read music and studied the organ with Gillian Weir. Harpsichord tuition continued with Kenneth Gilbert. After graduating he was successively: an assisting organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge; Assistant Organist at New College, Oxford; a deputy organist and choir master at the Cathedral and Abbey Church at St Alban’s; Director of Music at Eagle House Preparatory School for Boys; and Master of the Song School at Newark, Nottinghamshire.
After winning First Prize in the 1982 Manchester International Organ Competition, he appeared twice as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall and has continued to play with numerous choirs and orchestras, including Sinfonia Viva (formerly the East of England Orchestra), the Wren Orchestra, the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, the Milton Keynes Chamber orchestra, and English Sinfonia, and has featured on several recordings, including five solo discs.