Opening concert of the inaugural Limerick Pipe Organ Festival, celebrating the 150th the iconic Hill organ in St. John’s Cathedral Limerick, featuring the internationally recognised Irish organist Gerard Gillen. Concert starts at 8pm sharp in St. John’s Cathedral Limerick and admission is free.

Gerard Gillen’s Programme

Grand Choeur in D (Alla Handel), op.18 Alex. Guilmant (1837-1911)
Aria Tertia Johann Pachelbel (1653 – 1706)
Toccata and Fugue in F, BWV 540 J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Pastorale, op. 19 C. Franck (1822-1890)
Scherzo E. Gigout (1844-1925)
Mariales pour Orgue Naji Hakim
1. Incantation (b.1955)
2. Pastorale
3. Antienne
4. Hymne
5. Danse
Intermezzo (on an Irish Air), op.189 No.4 Charles V. Stanford (1852 -1924)
Fantaisie in F Minor, KV 608 W. A. Mozart (1756 -1791)

Gerard Gillen was Professor and Head of Music at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth from 1985 to 2007. He is currently Titular Organist of Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral and is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading church and concert organists. A First Class Honours graduate of University College, Dublin, Oxford University, and the Royal Conservatoire of Music, Antwerp (where he gained the Prix d’Excellence, the highest award for instrumental performance in the class of Flor Peeters), Professor Gillen has an international reputation as an organ recitalist and has given over 900 recitals throughout Europe, the Middle East, America and Australia, performing at such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall, London, King’s College, Cambridge, St Thomas, New York, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, St Thomas’, Leipzig, St Bavo, Haarlem, cathedrals and major recital venues in Antwerp, Bratislava, Brussels, Bruges, Copenhagen, Freiburg, Ghent, Hamburg, Jerusalem, Kosice, Lübeck, Luxembourg, Malaga, Oslo, Notre Dame and La Madeleine, Paris, Pittsburgh, Potsdam, Rome, San Francisco, Talinn, Turin, Warsaw, Zaragosa etc. He has also been a member of international competition juries in Oxford, Ann Arbor, London, Graz and Dublin.

Gerard Gillen was founder-chairman of the Dublin International Organ & Choral Festival of which he was artistic director from 1990-2000. He is currently chair of the National Advisory Committee on Church Music to the Irish Episcopal Conference and chair of the Dublin Diocesan Commission for Church Music. In 1984 he was conferred with a Knighthood of St. Gregory (KCSG) by the Vatican.

Other honours include the John Betts Visiting Fellowship at Oxford (1992), and in December 1996 he was nominated the classical winner in Ireland’s TV National Entertainment Awards, the first organist to be so honoured. In 2006 he was conferred with the title Chevalier des Ars et des Lettres by the French Government for his contribution to French Music, and in 2007 he was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa by the Pontifical University of Maynooth for his services to Church Music. He was also elected to Fellowship of the Royal Irish Academy of Music (FRIAM). His latest CD of the organ music of César Franck and Flor Peeters on the English LCS HiRes label was one of Norman Lebrecht’s special Christmas recommendations.

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