Video: Lofty ambition to save Bradford’s cathedral organ

An appeal will be launched this week to raise the £250,000 needed to restore a cathedral’s organ ahead of a landmark celebration..

Alex Woodrow, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral hopes to raise the money to restore and enhance its Edwardian pipe organ in time for the centenary year of the building’s elevation from parish church to cathedral, in 2019.

The four-manual and pedal organ at the cathedral, which is played every day, has given reliable service since its dedication in 1904.

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But with the passing of time a degree of wear and tear is becoming evident, and the organ is not as mechanically reliable as it once was.

Alex Woodrow, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral

It is used to accompany five choral services a week and as a recital instrument, as well as for the teaching and practising of student organists, some of whom might go on to become the next generation of professional musicians.

In addition to the essential repairs, a number of proposed tonal alterations will add new colours and enhance the organ’s versatility.

Alexander Woodrow, director of music at the cathedral, who will give the launch recital on February 6, said: “We need to preserve this wonderful organ so that it may continue to excite, inspire and uplift listeners in the decades to come.”

People are being offered the chance to adopt a pipe for as little as £5 or to buy the Organ Appeal CD, which includes works by Vivaldi, Franck, Bridge and Langlais, to raise money for the appeal.

Organ consultant Paul Hale, who is director of music at Southwell Minster, said: “I cannot imagine an instrument more worthy of restoration and I look forward greatly to hearing the results at the conclusion of the project.”

The appeal will be launched on Wednesday as part of the free Lunchtime Organ Recital which starts at 1.05pm.

A buffet lunch is available from 12.30pm.