Sunday Afternoon Organ Concert: Simon Johnson
Sun, 10 September 2017 at 3.00pm
All are welcome; the recital will be around 60 minutes long and admission is free, with a retiring collection in aid of Cathedral music funds.
Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 543 JS Bach
from the Orgelbüchlein:
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 633 JS Bach
from the Orgelbüchlein Project:
Wohl dem, der in Gottes Furcht steht (No 87) Simon Johnson
Choral No 1 in E major Franck
Sonata on the 94th Psalm Reubke
“A brilliant and sensitive musician, achieving greatness through his calm demeanour” (Gramophone), Simon’s work as a soloist, accompanist, conductor, composer and arranger makes him one of the most versatile church musicians working today.
As well as leading the cathedral’s wide-ranging organ programme, Simon accompanies the world-famous choir of men and boys and directs the Cathedral Consort. In addition to the daily round of services and events at St Paul’s, Simon has been involved in all the national occasions that have taken place there since his appointment in 2008, including at the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher and the Diamond Jubilee and 90th birthday celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen. He can be heard as both soloist and accompanist at St Paul’s on recordings for the Hyperion and Decca labels and recently took on the monumental project of recording Holst’s The Planets for Priory.
Outside of St Paul’s, Simon enjoys a diverse and busy freelance schedule. Recitals have taken him all over Europe and the USA, as well as to many of the premier venues in the UK. Forthcoming work includes a recital at the Royal Festival Hall (September 2017), and concert tours of the USA (January 2018), Scandinavia (July 2018) and China (October 2018). He has worked as soloist, accompanist and continuo player with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, London Baroque, The Sixteen and The Cardinall’s Musick. Simon performed the extended organ part in the Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy award-winning musical soundtrack for The Grand Budapest Hotel. He is on the Academic Board of The Royal College of Organists, for whom he is also an examiner.
As a director he became well-known through his work with the St Albans Abbey Girls’ Choir, leading them in several highly-acclaimed recordings and tours. Recently he has conducted Bach’s St John Passion, Duruflé’s Requiem, Bruckner’s Mass in E minor, Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No 3, Messiaen’s L’Ascension and Strauss’ Metamorphosen at St Paul’s as part of the cathedral’s ongoing partnerships with leading orchestras in London.
Simon’s yearly extravaganzas for the Lord Mayor’s Show in London has seen collaborations with Jo Brand, Alistair McGowan, Julian Rhind-Tutt, David Schneider and Brian Blessed.
He has taken part in the premières of works from many of the world’s leading composers, and his own commissioned Gloria for choir, brass and organ received its première in Atlanta in 2014 and has now been published by OUP.