Freemasons’ Hall has announced its first Organ Concert of 2021, which will take place on 30 March, at 7pm
The event, being held virtually, will showcase the magnificent Willis Pipe Organ, which resides in the Grand Temple of Freemasons' Hall in London, an art deco masterpiece completed in 1933.
The concert is to be given by Carl Jackson, MVO, director of music at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and he has held organ scholarships at Downing College, Cambridge as well as his current base of Chapel Royal.
Before his current role at Hampton Court Palace, Mr Jackson held positions at Croydon Minster and St Peter’s, Eaton Square. He obtained a postgraduate teaching certificate at Goldsmiths’ College (University of London) before embarking upon a thirty-six-year teaching career, from which he retired in July 2018. He has appeared regularly on television with the Chapel Royal choir and features with them on CDs. He was appointed MVO in the 2012 New Year Honours list.
Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, commented: “It is an honour to welcome Carl Jackson to perform for our first Organ Concert of 2021. The various lockdowns the country has faced during the pandemic have left many people feeling isolated and lonely. The virtual concert will bring world-class music and joy into people's homes whilst also giving the audience an opportunity to take in some of the stunning architecture of our headquarters here in London.”
The concert will be held at Freemasons’ Hall, which was designed as a pentagon to suit the irregular area in which it is located. Built in the central courtyard of the splendid art deco building, the Grand Temple is rich with multi-coloured details of blue, gold and white.
While enjoying the concert online, attendees will be able to experience the splendor of the Grand Temple, including the majestic 1.25-tonne organ with its ornate pipes as well as the stunning mosaics that surround the ceiling.
The original organ was installed in 1933 by Henry Willis, the third generation of an extended family line of organ builders. It originally had three manuals and 43 stops, giving a total complement of some 2,220 pipes, and was the last big organ built by the Willis firm. After 80 years it was in need of a complete renovation, which was carried out in Durham by Harrison & Harrison in 2014 and included the cleaning, repairing and re-voicing the existing mechanisms, as well as mounting a new case of some 400 pipes on the east wall.