One great organist goes on and on

One great organist goes on and on


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2021

In a year when we have lost Jennifer Bate, Jane Parker-Smith and Catherine Ennis, all before their time, it is a considerable relief to know that Dame Gillian Weir celebrated her 80th birthday last week.

And that Decca have issued a commemorative box.

Long may she roar.



  • Peter Phillips says:

    I’m surprised that there are so far no comments for such a distinguished musician. I was lucky enough to hear her in contrasting circumstances. The first occasion was a recital on the organ of Notre Dame – seems poignant now. The second was on the organ of a tiny parish church in rural South Gloucestershire. When she joined he audience afterwards she told me that the Notre Dame experience was quite scary, not because of the instrument itself but because there was a steeply sloping floor from the console to the gallery wall where she acknowledged applause. Many happy returns, Dame Gillian!

    • Jack says:

      Sadly, the king of instruments doesn’t get much devotion from most listeners.

      • Sisko24 says:

        Yes, you’re correct. In New York, neither of our two large concert halls – those large enough to hold full-sized symphony orchestras – neither has pipe organs. They have ‘fake news’ digital organs.

  • Anon9 says:

    Am I right in thinking that there are a surprising number of good women organists around? Is this the influence of Dame Gillian?