Beethoven once stated that organists are the greatest of all virtuosos. And of all organists, Australia is proud to be home to one of the world's most talented. On Friday 5 February, Australia’s own concert organist and internationally acclaimed organ virtuoso Thomas Heywood will play the organ at St Patrick’s Cathedral nearly 60 years after its installation.
Thomas Heywood is considered one of the world’s finest concert organists, having travelled 1.2 million kilometres across the globe performing solo concerts on the world's most celebrated pipe organs.
As Founding President and Australian National Director of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists, Heywood is committed to promoting and preserving Australasia’s unique pipe organ heritage. The Archdiocese of Melbourne has an invaluable heritage of pipe organs in parish churches and schools, but most notably, is the famed Cathedral Organ at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Cathedral Organ was installed in the west gallery of St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1870s by Robert Mackenzie and completed in 1880 by George Fincham, and later rebuilt in 1962 by pipe organ design and building firm George Fincham & Sons. During the rebuilding process, consultants from George Fincham & Sons worked with organist Maestro Fernando Germani, organist of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome, to plan the specifications of the new organ, with seventy-six speaking stops, 4762 pipes and a set of Spanish trumpets that were similar to those in the Basilica of Saint Peter.
‘Australia’s premier organist’ has performed on thousands of occasions ranging from a celebrated recital in the Sydney Opera House at the age of 17 to performing Mozart in Vienna, Tchaikovsky in Moscow, Handel in London and Beethoven in Bonn to both critical and public acclaim.
Now Heywood will be performing a variety of works including works from composers Bach, Verdi, Tchaikovsky and more on one of Melbourne's most treasured pipe organs.
Heywood is also on staff at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne and is Organist of Haileybury in Melbourne, Australia’s largest school, where he established and directs the Organ Scholars Program.
The concert will be held on Friday 5 February from 6pm - 7pm. Tickets may be purchased online at Trybooking. Tickets will also available at the door.
Melbourne Catholic02 March 2021
Jesuit Communications Australia01 March 2021