Southbank Centre’s organ festival approaching

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The Southbank Centre is holding a month-long celebration to mark the successful restoration of its famous organ.

Designed by Ralph Downes, the Royal Festival Hall organ was installed in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain and has just undergone a complete refurbishment costing £2.3 million to restore the 7,866-pipe organ to its former glory.

To mark the event, the organ festival will include eight new works which have been commissioned from key organists such as John Scott, Thomas Trotter and Olivier Latry.

Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre's artistic director, explained: "We have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the return of our much-loved organ to the heart of the Royal Festival Hall will be celebrated by people around the country.

"We want to share our passion for the organ and have commissioned new work from eight artists from very different fields…We hope that this new repertoire will have a life beyond this very special moment."

Starting on March 18th, the festival is perfect for organ lovers staying in central London hotels. It will kick off with an opening gala concert featuring John Scott, Isabelle Demers, Jane Parker Smith and David Goode with trumpeter Alison Balsom.

There will also be unique performances from the Southbank Centre's resident Orchestras Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased directly from the Southbank Centre box office and website.

The Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre and consists of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, the Hayward Gallery, the Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.