IMPROVISER/CONCERT ORGANIST/COMPOSER

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Biography

Neil Wright Composer

NEIL WRIGHT STUDIED ORGAN, PIANO, HARPSICHORD AND CLAVICHORD AT THE ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC WITH DAME GILLIAN WEIR, ERIC CHADWICK AND ROBERT ELLIOTT. HE WAS AWARDED THE RNCM PRIZE FOR PLAYING BACH. IN 1976 HE CAME TO PUBLIC ATTENTION WHEN HE WAS FEATURED ON BBC TELEVISION PLAYING THE ORGAN OF MANCHESTER TOWN HALL. IN 1979 HE BECAME A FELLOW OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ORGANISTS, WINNING THE DIXON PRIZE FOR EXTEMPORISATION.

On his return to England from the United States, where he had worked both as an organist and singer, he settled in Canterbury becoming a lay clerk in the Cathedral Choir. During this time he undertook further study in improvisation and composition with Naji Hakim. He also attended improvisation classes with Peter Planyavsky, Bert Matter, Guy Bovet and Loïc Mallié. Among his compositions for organ are Idyll: a country far beyond the stars first performed at the Brompton Oratory, London in 2001 and A Dreame and Fugue Angelicall, first performed in Bayonne, France in 1999. Other works include a Mass, Songs, and latin motets including music for the liturgy of Holy Week.

In 1994 he was appointed Assistant Organist of the Brompton Oratory, and in 1996, 1998 and 2000 he won finalist prizes at the prestigious International Organ Improvisation Competitions in Nuremberg and Haarlem, Netherlands.

He has given concerts in Europe and the United States not only as an organist but as pianist, harpsichordist and countertenor. In 2003 he directed the Orchestra of the Nord Ostsee Barockmusic Festival, Germany and in 2004 joined the City of London Chamber Players as harpsichordist. In 2001 Neil was appointed Organist of the recently restored Cavaillé-Coll organ at St Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire.

Of his CD recording of works by Franck, Berlioz and Guilmant Le Tombeau d¹Eugénie (PRCD802), Organist’s Review wrote of Neil’s playing “…heart rending …a most important contribution to our understanding of the way the music should sound” and “breathtaking…virtuosic playing” The Nordfriesland Landblatt.

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concerts, recitals masterclasses, accompaniment, new music, and arrangements

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Cd's

NEIL WRIGHT HAS MADE SEVERAL COMMERCIAL RECORDINGS AND THOSE CD’S FEATURED BELOW ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE, EITHER FROM THE FARNBOROUGH ABBEY SHOP OR DIRECT FROM NEIL.

Le Tombeau d’Eugenie

Le Tombeau d’Eugenie

Neil Wright plays all nine suites of César Franck’s L’Organiste, written at the very end of his life in 1890 at the same time as the oft-performed Trois Chorals. The first six pieces of each suite are highly individual and diverse vignettes – colourful, lyrical, articulate and rhetorically perfect – thematically linked to one another through the transformation of themes. Each suite concludes with an extended movement recalling elements, themes, and sections of movements previously presented. L’Organiste was commissioned by the publisher Enoch as works for harmonium, but they sound marvellous on the beautiful Cavaillé-Coll organ of Farnborough Abbey where these performances were recorded in September 2007. The CD set comes with a 20-page booklet with extensive notes about the music, musical examples, and photographs

César Franck - L'Organiste

César Franck – L’Organiste

Neil Wright plays all nine suites of César Franck’s L’Organiste, written at the very end of his life in 1890 at the same time as the oft-performed Trois Chorals. The first six pieces of each suite are highly individual and diverse vignettes – colourful, lyrical, articulate and rhetorically perfect – thematically linked to one another through the transformation of themes. Each suite concludes with an extended movement recalling elements, themes, and sections of movements previously presented.

César Franck - L'Organiste

Triduum

Among the choral works included are David Bevan’s Missa Brevis à8, Psalm 30, Psalm 103, and the Easter motet Exsultate Deo, and Neil Wright’s four Triduum motets, and the Triptych for the Institution of the Holy Eusharist. Martin Stacey performs on the 1963 Walker organ of St John the Evangelist, Islington two works for solo organ: Neil Wright’s Dreame and Fugue Angelicall and David Bevan’s Toccata and Fugue on BACH. The recording was made by Neil Collier of Priory Records in October 2007. The 12-page CD booklet includes notes about the music and performers, and the full text of the choral works.

Links & Contact

by email: neil@neilwright.co.uk
by phone: +44 (0)793 939 5523

The Cavaillé-Coll organ at Farnborough Abbey http://www.cavaille-coll.co.uk

Stephen D Smith runs a wonderful site with the most complete listings of organ concerts in the UK - venues, maps, stop lists, biographies, photos.

http://www.organrecitals.com