The Cathedral organ was built in 1962 to a design by Peter Hurford (then Master of the Music) and Ralph Downes.
The design of the instrument was revolutionary, being the first cathedral instrument in Britain to be voiced and built on neo-classical lines. Therefore it is possible to achieve a good balance between stops in all schools of organ repertoire (particularly, for example, the Trio Sonatas of J.S. Bach), whilst being a flexible instrument for accompanying the traditional English cathedral repertoire.
In 2007-9 the organ was comprehensively refurbished by Harrison & Harrison of Durham (the original builders), with the addition of a fourth manual, new Great reeds and a 32' pedal reed.
The organ is the centerpiece of the biennial St Albans International Organ Festival and Competitions, founded by Peter Hurford in 1963.
Organ Restoration Fund
"Our Harrison & Harrison organ stands at the heart of one of England's greatest cathedrals where it sustains and enhances our worship, is responsive to an artist's individuality and plays a pivotal role in the St Albans International Organ Festival with its world-wide reputation for prestigious organ competitions. It is a remarkable instrument. We still need £290,000 to complete the funding of the restoration programme. I do hope you will make a donation to the Organ Restoration Fund and join us in helping to support the Cathedral as a centre of musical excellence."
Master of the Music