Friday, 23 October 2009

Concert pianist supports appeal for UK's largest new organ

A talented young concert pianist is helping to raise £1.5m for the largest new cathedral organ to be built in the UK for 40 years.

Daniel Martyn Lewis will perform at a concert on Hallowe'en at Llandaff Cathedral with the City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra in aid of the cathedral's £1.5m organ appeal. He will play Brahms' monumental Piano Concert no 2 in B-Flat Major.

The new organ, says Daniel, a native Australian who tutors at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Llandaff Cathedral School, will be a "major musical asset to the city of Cardiff".

He said, "The new organ will be magnificent and will establish Llandaff Cathedral as a premiere concert venue, not just in Wales but in the UK. It will be a major musical asset to the city of Cardiff.

"For this concert, though, I shall be playing the Steinway grand in the cathedral. It has a particularly rich and sonorous bass, and a brilliant top end as well. This is utterly perfect for Brahms. The resonant acoustic also suits the spaciousness and grandeur of the music. The work is a titanic romantic masterpiece, being one of the rare concertos to contain four movements instead of the customary three. The slow movement is particularly beautiful, opening with a long romantic cello solo."

Also being performed at the concert, under the direction of conductor Martin McHale, are Beethoven's Overture Leonore No 3 and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. And those attending will get to see the historic new organ taking shape in the Cathedral as its 4,870 pipes are carefully put into position. It is expected to be in place and ready by next Spring.

A spokesperson for Llandaff Cathedral said, "We are delighted that Daniel and the City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra are performing here for our organ appeal. Daniel has already donated proceeds to the appeal when he performed a solo Chopin recital in January, for which he received a standing ovation. I'm sure everyone who comes will enjoy a truly memorable concert."

Donations to the Llandaff Cathedral Organ Appeal can be made online at or sent to: Cathedral Office, Prebendal House, Llandaff, Cardiff, CF5 2LA


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