Music with Leeds Minster Connections
Leeds Minster, formerly Leeds Parish Church, has a long and distinguished musical history. The list of organists and former organists of the Parish Church of St Peter-at-Leeds is outstanding. On Sunday 28 April 2013 at 8:15pm St Peter’s Singers of Leeds will celebrate this musical heritage with a special concert entitled “Music with Leeds Minster Connections”. The Leeds based chamber choir is also celebrating the status of Leeds Minster with music from its famous composers since the consecration of the then new building on 2nd September 1841 over 171 years ago.
The concert includes music by Dr Samuel Sebastian Wesley (first Organist of the current Church) and Sir Edward Bairstow, extending to Dr Melville Cook (the centenary of whose birth fell last year), Dr Donald Hunt and the present organist, Dr Simon Lindley. Works to be performed include Dr Hunt’s magnificent Hymnus Paschalis, a work specifically for the Easter season, and the masterly setting of the ‘Stabat Mater’ composed for the choir’s 20th anniversary in 1997 by Dr Francis Jackson CBE, Organist Emeritus of York Minster. The programme is accompanied on the organ by David Houlder.
Dr Simon Lindley, Music Director, St Peter’s Singers, said
“No other English parochial choral foundation has so prestigious a history as does that of Leeds Minster, formerly Leeds Parish Church. Minster Organists of yesteryear are headed up by Dr Samuel Sebastian Wesley and Sir Edward Bairstow. St Peter’s Singers have played a major role in Minster Music for thirty-five years and that Choir is widely regarded as the best such choral group North of the Trent. We at the Minster are delighted to welcome the Singers and their supporters for this special presentation of “Music with Minster Connections”, the programme of which includes music by three living composers – Dr Francis Jackson, Dr Donald Hunt and myself. Dr Melville Cook, Organist at Leeds from 1937 to 1956, was one of the greatest players of his age but did not concern himself overmuch with composition. Extensive research in Canada as well as the UK has uncovered two magnificent pieces from his pen – the Antiphon “Darkness and Light” written in Toronto in 1973 and a magnificent and hugely exciting setting of St Patrick’s Breastplate, dating from the months just after the end of the Second World War.”