Our Interim Chairman
Our Artistic Director
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
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
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.
The St Albans International Organ Festival presents arguably the world’s leading organ competition. Its roll-call of past prize-winners includes many of today’s most influential organists.
For two weeks our biennial festival celebrates organs and a lot more besides. Our diverse mix of large-scale and intimate concerts, talks, workshops, art exhibitions and fringe events offers something for everyone and complements the St Albans International Organ Competition itself. Events are centred around the magnificent Norman cathedral of St Albans and spread out all around this beautiful historic city. Important venues in London host additional competition rounds and performances.
The festival attracts leading performers from around the world together with very best young organists. It was founded in 1963 by the distinguished organist Peter Hurford OBE.