Just over forty years ago a young organist, who had given his debut recital in Westminster Abbey at the age of 21, came to Leeds as the Organist and Choirmaster of the Parish Church. His name was Simon Lindley.
Soon after his arrival he was also appointed the City Organist, and the custodian of Europe’s largest concert instrument in Leeds Town Hall, bringing the two together with an annual series of Monday lunchtime recitals that intersperses his own appearances with many distinguished visitors. The upcoming season includes Thomas Trotter (February 29) and Ian Tracey (March 7).
With a diary that suggests there are at least two Lindleys at work, he was to become a Lecturer at what was then Leeds Polytechnic; a familiar face at the Town Hall symphony concerts in his role of assistant music officer to the Leeds City Council. As a conductor he formed the St Peter’s Singers, and has steered the Leeds College of Music Community Choir, Doncaster Choral Society, Halifax Hospice Choir and the Sheffield Bach Choir to their present level of excellence. His official anniversary concert will take place on February 22, when he plays music by Reger, Jackson, Cockroft and Thalban-Ball, but before then he gives a special recital to mark Holocaust Memorial Day (January 25) and conducts Bach Cantatas with the St Peter’s Singers and members of the National Festival Orchestra (February 15).
Leeds Lunchtime Organ Music, Town Hall, Mondays at 1.05pm. Free admission. David Denton