UGLE announces first organ concert of 2022 at Freemasons’ Hall
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales, has announced its first organ concert of 2022, which will take place at Freemasons’ Hall on 8 June at 6:00pm.
The concert is to be given by Gerard Brooks, director of music of Methodist Central Hall in Westminster. He is also curator organist of the historic reconstruction of Richard Bridge’s 18th century organ at Christ Church Spitalfields.
In addition, Mr Brooks is an organ professor at the Royal Academy of Music and also teaches at Sevenoaks School, as well as being a tutor at the Royal College of Organists Academy. He was the first recipient of the Forsyth-Grant/Hurford Travelling Scholarship awarded by the Royal College of Organists, and served as the college’s president from 2019 to 2022.
The concert will be held in the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall, which was designed as a pentagon to suit the irregular area in which it is located. The event will showcase the magnificent Willis pipe organ.
Freemasons’ Hall is widely known as an art deco masterpiece, completed in 1933. Built in the central courtyard of the building, the Grand Temple is rich with multicoloured details of blue, gold and white.
Ian Chandler, chair of the UGLE’s Communications and Marketing Working Party, said: “We are delighted to welcome Gerard Brooks to perform our first organ concert of 2022. The concert will bring world-class music and joy to the visitors, while also giving the audience an opportunity to take in some of the stunning architecture of our headquarters here in London.”
While enjoying the concert, attendees will be able to experience the splendour of the Grand Temple, including the majestic organ with its ornate pipes as well as the stunning mosaics that surround the ceiling.
The original organ was installed in 1933 by Henry Willis, the third generation of an extended family line of organ builders. It originally had three manuals and 43 stops, giving a total complement of some 2,220 pipes, and was the last big organ built by the Willis firm. After 80 years, it was in need of a complete renovation, which was carried out in Durham by Harrison & Harrison in 2014 and included the cleaning, repairing and revoicing of the existing mechanisms, as well as mounting a new case of some 400 pipes on the east wall.
Free tickets for the concert are available to book via: https://event.bookitbee.com/39840/freemasons-hall-organ-concert-8th-june-2022-gerard