When Peter Hurford founded the International Organ Festival in 1963, it was one of the first music festivals of its kind in the world - combining organ competitions with concerts of other kinds of music.
From the start, the aim was to provide other musical events with different instruments, some humour and social life - to attract larger audiences and demonstrate the potential of the organ as a musical instrument in its own
right. For too long, the organ had been viewed as merely an instrument to accompany church services - the Festival was to prove its possibilities in solo recital, and to encourage the art of improvisation.
Almost 50 years on, the Festival now combines 10 days of music by international musicians, from orchestral to choral, early music to jazz. The organ competitions attract young organists from all over the world, to be heard by organists of international standing.
Ten days of music, in the historic city of St Albans, with its Roman remains, glorious cathedral and other historic buildings, as well as cafes and restaurants aplenty for the visitor - just 20 minutes by train from London, or 10 minutes from the M25.
Prof Sir Peter Gregson
Our Artistic Director
For more than fifty years, the St Albans International Organ Festival, founded by Peter Hurford in 1963, has been committed to promoting the organ as a solo instrument in its own right, as well as an instrument capable of performing in various other musical contexts.
This biennial festival is centred around the magnificent Norman cathedral of St Albans and in other churches and buildings in this beautiful historic city and beyond. In 2015, the festival also features the historic Richard Bridge organ of 1735 in Christ Church Spitalfields, London. The festival attracts leading musicians and performers from around the world together with very best young organists who come to compete in the two competitions.
Founder and President
Dr Peter Hurford OBE
Patricia Hurford, Lesley King, Thomas Trotter
Cllr. Annie Brewster
Sir Andrew Davis CBE
Dame Glynne Evans, DBE, CMG
The Very Reverend Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans
The Rt Hon Lord McNally PC
The Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury
The Countess of Verulam
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans
Artistic & Executive Director
Professor Sir Peter Gregson
Registered Charity No:
VAT Reg No:
International Organ Festival Society, PO Box 80, St Albans, AL3 4HR, United Kingdom
198 2626 23
Board of Directors