William Saunders: Organ

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William Saunders is one of Britain’s leading young concert organists whose imaginative programming, recordings of accessible modern English repertoire and passion for music education is ensuring that this instrument is conserved for the next generation. He regularly performs recitals at distinguished venues across the UK, Europe and North America, and at leading festivals including Oundle International Festival, Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Three Choirs Festival, Kings Lynn Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Lübecker Orgelsommer. He’s also premiered numerous works including Animal Parade by Iain Farrington, and Diptych by Dobrinka Tabakova.

William has released several critically acclaimed CDs on Regent Records, including works he’s commissioned and world premiere recordings. Gramophone Magazine has praised his “rhythmic vitality” while Organists’ Review declared his playing as “flawless and so assured that one can listen in the knowledge that nothing will faze him.”

William is currently accepting recital engagements. Get in touch to discuss a booking.

Artist Manager: Nick Cutts

watch & listen

Concert Overture in C major by Alfred Hollins. William Saunders, organ
Final from Symphony No.6 by Charles-Marie Widor. William Saunders, organ
Toccata on ‘O Filii et Filiae’ by Lynnwood Farnham
Fanfare by John Cook

sample programmes

Triumphant Organ – Music for the Town Hall
Alfred Hollins – Concert Overture in C major
Percy Whitlock – Balloon Ballet
Edward Bairstow – Allegro Giocoso from Sonata in E Flat
Handel arr. Loret – Organ Concerto In D Minor Opus 7, No. 4 (Adagio / Allegro / Improvisation / Allegro)
Ad Wammes – The Messenger on the Hill from Interludes for organ
Mozart arr. Scott – Overture to the Marriage of Figaro

Animal Parade by Iain Farrington
​Movements: Entrance, Giraffes, Barrel organ monkey, Hippopotamus, Critics, Blue whale, Sparrows, Penguins, Cheetah, Piranhas, Alley cats, Exit

A wild and wacky depiction of ten familiar animals, from the tallest to the fastest, the biggest to the nastiest. Hear the roar of the cheetah, the miaow of the alley cat and feel the massive weight of the blue whale. This affectionate caricature of wildlife explores the unusual characteristics of these creatures in a thrilling and entertaining assortment of organ effects. The work includes an optional narration with brilliant and witty verses for each animal. This virtuoso piece is to be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Glorious Pipes – dedication of a new organ
Alexandre Guilmant – Grand Choeur in D
Ernst arr. JS Bach – Organ Concerto in G major BWV 592 (Allegro / Grave / Presto)
Christopher Steel – Changing Moods Suite Op. 59 (Genial March / Pensive Ground / The Chase / Nocturnal Siciliano / Dancing Toccata)
Felix Mendelssohn – Organ Sonata No.5 in D major (Andante / Andante con moto / Allegro)
Alexandre Guillmant – March up Handel’s “Lift up your heads”

French Fireworks – The Symphonic Organ
Pierre Cochereau, trans. Jeremy Filsell – Scherzo Symphonique
Maurice Duruflé – Méditation
Charles-Marie Widor – Symphony in G minor (Allegro / Adagio / Intermezzo / Cantabile / Final)

William Saunders

biography

William Saunders is one of Britain’s leading young concert organists whose imaginative programming, recordings of accessible modern English repertoire and passion for music education is ensuring that this instrument is conserved for the next generation. He regularly performs recitals at distinguished venues across the UK, Europe and North America, and at leading festivals including Oundle International Festival, Cambridge Summer Music Festival, Three Choirs Festival, Kings Lynn Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Lübecker Orgelsommer. He’s also premiered numerous works including Animal Parade by Iain Farrington, and Diptych by Dobrinka Tabakova..

William has released several critically acclaimed CDs on Regent Records, including works he’s commissioned and world premiere recordings. Gramophone Magazine has praised his “rhythmic vitality” while Organists’ Review declared his playing as “flawless and so assured that one can listen in the knowledge that nothing will faze him.”

William is in demand as an accompanist and has worked with the Kings Voices, London Voices and Aldeburgh Voices (the latter established by Benjamin Britten). In addition, he directs a number of vocal ensembles including the Buriensi Consort and Prometheus Consort.

Alongside his performance career, William is passionate about music education. He’s a consultant for the Royal College of Organists and is currently working with them to create quality online resources for enthusing people in different ways. The project aims to improve and increase access to the organ and its music in order to create new players and listeners. Further, it will provide educational materials to schools for music and the wider curriculum. In other words, a one-stop shop for reinfusing organs into our music culture.

William has worked at several esteemed institutions, including The Royal Hospital School in Suffolk where he was Director of Music for nearly a decade. Throughout his tenure he was responsible for a dynamic music department that created inspiring opportunities for its students; highlights included collaborations with the BBC Big Band, Swingle Singers, National Youth Choir of Great Britain and forming partnerships with HM Royal Marines Training Band and the Royal College of Organists. In addition, he directed the Chapel Choir at The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance in the presence of the royal family, which was broadcast live on BBC radio and television. He also established the Sing Up Suffolk annual event which involves 800 primary school children coming to the school with the primary aim of making singing fun and accessible.

Other roles William has previously held include having oversight of the music department of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Organist at St Mary-le-Tower Civic Church (Ipswich), plus he is founder of the Ipswich School Festival of Music.

William enjoys being kept busy, and in addition to his performance career he has recently become Director of Mediatracks Music Ltd, a British independent music company which provides a wide range of production music for the worldwide broadcast industry. Outside of his musical life, he likes to enjoy good food with his young family, fast cars and keeping fit.

Read more about William and hear further examples of his work here.

bookings

For bookings or further information please contact us here.