Fulfilling hunger for lunchtime concerts

Kirklees Council and Opera North have announced the return of music to Huddersfield Town Hall, with Borough Organist Dr Gordon Stewart streaming concerts from the venue from Monday 14 September.

How can you watch the concerts?

Released fortnightly, the hour-long concerts will be available to watch on YouTube. Kirklees Council is working with care homes and care providers in the district to ensure that the broadcasts reach audiences who may not have been able attend a concert in person.

The Orchestra of Opera North, who would have played the first of their Kirklees Concert Season dates this month, hope to perform their 2020-21 programme of concerts live in front of audiences between January and June 2021.

“I’ve been missing our Monday lunchtime concerts so much”, says Gordon. “This will be my 30th season as Borough Organist, so I’m delighted that we’ve managed to arrange for an organ concert to be available online every second Monday through to Christmas.”

What to expect 

The first concert will feature an introduction and demonstration of the famous 1860 Father Willis organ from David Wood of the Huddersfield-based family firm of organ builders who maintain it. Over the following weeks, Gordon’s imaginative programmes will include a Huddersfield premiere for a virtuoso arrangement of Bach’s Chorale from Cantata 80 (26 October). On 7 December he looks forward to Christmas with some seasonal selections; and Tom Osborne, co-principal trumpet in the Hallé and a Town Hall favourite, will join him for concerts on 12 October and 9 November, with programmes ranging from Padre Martini to the late Ennio Morricone.

Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Culture and Environment, Kirklees Council, comments,

“These are extraordinary times, and our primary focus is to keep everyone safe, which is why we are delighted to be able to broadcast the organ concerts so that audiences can watch from the comfort of their own surroundings.

Streaming the concerts online will help us reach both existing and entirely new audiences, including those who may have been unable to attend under normal circumstances. It means we can bring joy to more people and support their wellbeing through the captivating music offered by the incredibly talented Gordon and his guests.”

Each organ concert can be viewed on the Lawrence Batley Theatre’s YouTube channel, through a partnership between the LBT, The University of Huddersfield and Kirklees Council. The concerts are free to watch, with a Pay As You Feel option available for anyone who would like to show their support with a donation.

When will the concerts begin?

Broadcasts of Dr Gordon Stewart’s fortnightly concerts from the Father Willis Organ in Huddersfield Town Hall begin at 1pm on Monday 14 September. To view the performances, visit thelbt.org/organ-concert-season-online

More information 

For announcements and updates visit Kirklees Concert Season.

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