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Pipe Up! The Organ Podcast

Pipe Up! The Organ Podcast

By Leeds International Organ Festival
Our weekly podcasts are hosted by David Pipe, Leeds International Organ Festival’s Artistic Director, who’ll be joined by guests to chat about the online Monday recital series. Guests will include some of the recitalists themselves, alongside composers, conductors and music journalists.

Visit for Leeds International Organ Festival Live, our online recital series.
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Currently playing episode

Valerie Barr

Pipe Up! The Organ Podcast

Valerie Barr
David talks to our new Accordion Tutor for the Diocese of Leeds Keyboard Studies Programme, Valerie Barr. An accomplished soloist and chamber musician, not only do we hear her insights into the Accordion scene in the UK and internationally, but we also get a crash course on the accordion's distinctive features, alongside some lovely musical demonstrations.
May 20, 2022
Pam Hulme
Berlin-based organist, composer, conductor and educator Pam Hulme joins David for the final episode of the series. Following a career in school teaching, Pam moved to Germany where she is now working in church music and education. We hear how she was introduced to ‘live looping’ by teenage pupils in East London, and how rap and beat-boxing have found their way into organ performance through her Urban Organ projects.
July 09, 2021
Charlotte Gardner
The freelance writer, music critic and journalist, Charlotte Gardner, is today’s guest, speaking about her work which takes her all around the world. Charlotte describes her experience as a Music student at the University of Cambridge, and tells us how a job at the BBC, ultimately on Radio 4’s Today programme, eventually led to her current path as a music journalist. Along the way, Charlotte shares her insights into the rising stars of the classical music world!
June 25, 2021
Peter Wright
Peter Wright joins David today, speaking about his current work as Interim Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral, but also his distinguished tenure as Organist and Director of Music at Southwark Cathedral in London’s South Bank. Peter describes his studies with Flor Peeters and Dame Gillian Weir, and explains what it was like to work at one of London’s most vibrant cathedrals. Along the way, we hear, too, about Mr Bean!
June 11, 2021
Ann Elise Smoot
Today’s guest, Ann Elise Smoot, is one of the country’s foremost organ teachers. As Director of Oundle for Organists, and Chair of the Dr Martin Clarke Young Organ Scholars’ Trust, she works with young organists across the country from a wide range of backgrounds. We hear about Ann Elise’s early experiences in the UK, having come over as a recent graduate from the USA, including her work at the renowned St Giles International Organ School with Anne Marsden Thomas.
May 28, 2021
Huw Morgan 2
David is joined by the organist and composer, Huw Morgan, talking about Huw’s compositions for organ and electronics, and his latest album on a 4-stop organ in south Wales. They discuss the Automatronic collective, a group of like-minded composers who write and perform with electronic media, plus ways in which this fascinating compositional world can be explored for promoting the organ in the most unusual and unexpected ways!  Featured tracks Encounters, Michael Bonaventure Sarsen, Huw Morgan Light Spills Over Banked Roots, Huw Morgan Phosphorescent, Lauren Redhead
May 14, 2021
Francis O'Gorman
In our final podcast of the series, Francis O’Gorman, Saintsbury Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Edinburgh, joins David to talk about his dual life as an English academic and organist. Francis tells us about playing for Zoom services from home on his digital organ, as well as some of the challenges facing live music-making amidst the global pandemic. We also find out how English literature and wine are linked in an unexpected way!
July 17, 2020
Caius Lee
Caius Lee, formerly Organ Scholar of Leeds Cathedral, and now Neville Burston Organ Scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, joins David to speak about his university Music studies, as well as his role as an access officer to help state school pupils in their applications to the University. Caius tells us about the college ‘parent’ system, recording services for Zoom worship, and how Cambridge is adapting to life in lockdown.
July 10, 2020
Sean Montgomery
Joining David today is Monday’s LIOF Live recitalist, Sean Montgomery. Following studies at Salisbury Cathedral and the Royal Academy of Music, Sean joined the music technology industry and is now European Product Director for the Roland Europe Group. We hear about Roland’s role in developing MIDI, as well as Sean’s guest appearance with a prog rock band and the CBSO in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall!
July 03, 2020
Tom Leech
Today’s guest is Tom Leech, Director of the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, and Monday’s recitalist. Tom’s programme features works from his forthcoming recording on the Regent Records label, and we hear about how he recorded this 10 years ago during his time as Assistant Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral. Tom also tells us about his groundbreaking work taking the Schools Singing Programme online during the pandemic.
June 26, 2020
Owen Murray
Owen Murray, Head of Accordion at the Royal Academy of Music, joins guest presenter Ben Saunders to introduce us to the accordion ahead of Monday’s LIOF Live recital by Qianyu Zhang, one of Owen’s students. Born in Scotland, and now splitting his time between Copenhagen and London, Ben and Owen discuss the difference between piano and classical accordions, and why Owen has made it his mission to raise the instrument’s status in the UK.
June 19, 2020
Huw Morgan
Today’s guest is the composer Huw Morgan, whose music features in Monday’s LIOF Live recital. Now based in south Wales, Huw tells us about his multi-faceted career as a musician, including work as a record producer, and as a member of an organ + electronics collective. Huw and David discuss their collaboration on a recent CD recording, considering the relationship between composer and performer when working on commissions.
June 12, 2020
Rachel Mahon
David is joined by Rachel Mahon, Assistant Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral, who takes over as Director of Music there in September. A native of Toronto, Rachel tells us about her new CD of Canadian organ music, recorded in Coventry, which includes Healey Willan’s magnificent Introduction, Passacaglia & Fugue. From the sublime to the ridiculous, we also hear about Rachel’s organ comedy duo, Organized Crime!
June 05, 2020
Tom Bell
David is joined by Tom Bell, Director of RCO Northern England, North Wales and the Isle of Man. Tom tells us about his role as a performer in the multi-national Orgelbüchlein Project, as well as his plans to record a vlog documenting his ongoing work learning Messiaen’s Livre du Saint-Sacrement. With his Royal College of Organists hat on, we hear about the College’s exciting plans for making online learning accessible during the pandemic.
May 29, 2020
Ben Saunders
David is joined by Ben Saunders, Director of Music for the Diocese of Leeds. Ben’s Bank Holiday programme on Monday 25th May features tracks from recitals in Cologne Cathedral, St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, and Huddersfield Town Hall. Ben tells us about the early influences in his musical life, travels abroad, and how he brought the Edinburgh Jazz Festival to St Giles’ Cathedral!
May 22, 2020
Daniel Justin
David Pipe is joined by Daniel Justin, Director of Music for the Diocese of East Anglia, and Master of the Music at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Norwich. Daniel’s recital on Monday 18th May features tracks from his 2015 recording of Elgar’s complete original music for organ. An acclaimed composer and improviser, Daniel discusses some of the influences behind his Elgar recording, as well as his passion for Gregorian chant.
May 15, 2020