Guest Artist: Neil Cockburn

We not only share the stage with the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus on Wednesday, but also with one of the renowned organists in the city: Dr. Neil Cockburn! Neil will join us on Fauré's Requiem, both works by Dove, and the Te Deum in C by Benjamin Britten. And because we are performing in the Jack Singer Concert Hall, Neil will play the magnificent 6,008-pipe Carthy organ built by Casavant Frères.

About Neil Cockburn

Dr. Neil Cockburn  Art of Miro Photography, 2017

Dr. Neil Cockburn
Art of Miro Photography, 2017

Dr. Neil Cockburn is an international prize-winning organist. Celebrate for his diverse repertoire interests and expertise, he performs an all-encompassing spectrum of solo organ recitals on a wide range of instrument types, from all-Bach recitals on historically inspired organs, to symphonic programmes on romantic instruments, and concerts of entirely new works. His most recent solo recording is of the Mass on the Sixth Tone with three Magnificat Suites by the seventeenth-century French composer, André Raison.

Born in Scotland, Neil's musical education was at Oxford University (BA Hons, Music), the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK (MusM, Organ Performance, and the Professional Performance Diploma, PPRNCM), the Conservatoire National de Région Rueil-Malmaison, France (Premier prix de perfectionnement), and the University of Calgary (PhD, Musicology). His formative teachers and mentors include David Sanger, Margaret Phillips, and Dame Gillian Weir. He won First Prize at the 1996 Dublin International Organ Competition, and has received numerous other prestigious awards, including the W. T. Best Memorial Organ Scholarship (UK), a scholarship from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust (UK), and the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Prize, which was awarded by an international panel of judges.

As a harpsichord and continuo player, Neil performs regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. With theorbists Victor Coelho and David Dolata and the group Il Furioso, he performed harpsichord continuo on two recordings of early seventeenth-century Italian repertoire for the Toccata Classics label: recordings of the music of G.G. Kapsberger and B. Castaldi. From 2000-2015, he was Head of Organ Studies at Mount Royal Conservatory. He is currently Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (Anglican) in Calgary.

The Carthy Organ

The 6,008-pipe Carthy organ built by Casavant Frères, was purchased with a $750,000 donation from the Carthy Foundation of Calgary, in memory of Margaret Mannix. Designed for both solo recitals and works with full orchestra, it was first heard in concert on 6 May 1987, played by Simon Preston, with the Calgary Philharmonic under Mario Bernardi. This gift inspired the organization of the Calgary International Organ Festival, first held in October 1990.

VIDEO... Watch a feature of Neil Cockburn playing the Carthy Organ at the Jack Singer Hall, provided by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

VIDEO... Learn more about the history of the Carthy Organ with a feature by KSPS Public Television.