Recital series in memory of former organist

10 September 2020
A new series of free organ recitals at Norwich Cathedral will pay a special tribute to Brian Runnett, a former organist and master of the choristers at the Cathedral and who was regarded as one of the most exciting organists of his generation.
Norwich Cathedral organ © Paul Hurst

With concerts having been suspended since the outbreak of Covid-19, Norwich Cathedral is re-launching its organ recitals in September with a series of concerts dedicated to the memory of Brian Runnett (1935-70).

The Brian Runnett Memorial Organ Recital Series will start on Wednesday 16 September and will feature a series of six free concerts.

Mr Runnett became the Cathedral’s Organist and Master of the Choristers in 1967, but tragically died in a car crash in August 1970 shortly after giving an organ recital at Westminster Abbey. Following his death, his parents donated his collection of sheet music to Norwich Cathedral and the collection is housed in Norwich Cathedral’s Library.

On this 50th anniversary since Mr Runnett’s death, the Cathedral’s three current organists – David Dunnett, Ashley Grote and George Inscoe – will perform a series of six concerts which will also be made available to watch at a later date on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel.

The recitals will take place at 7.30pm and the programme will be as follows:

16 September - Assistant Organist George Inscoe
30 September - Organist David Dunnett
14 October - Master of Music Ashley Grote
28 October - Organist David Dunnett
11 November - Assistant Organist George Inscoe
25 November - Master of Music Ashley Grote

Each concert in the Brian Runnett Memorial Organ Recital Series will also include music by Louis Vierne to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the French composer who was the Titular Organist of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from 1900 until his death in 1937.

Brian Runnett
Ashley Grote said: “It is wonderful that we are able to welcome an audience back into the Cathedral again to enjoy organ concerts after such a long break.

It seemed right that this concert series should mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Brian Runnett, one of my predecessors, a brilliant young organist who was regarded as one of the bright lights of Cathedral music, and whose life was so tragically cut short after only a few years in post here at Norwich.

Brian Runnett would himself have played works by Vierne, so it is good also to be able to include Vierne’s music in this series of concerts.”

The organ recitals are free but tickets should be booked in advance via this link
Please note that, due to current government rules, people can book up to six tickets only.

Online bookings will close at 5.30pm on the day of each concert.
Doors open at 7pm (entrance is via the Hostry only).

You are welcome to come to the door from 7pm without a pre-booked ticket, in which case you will be admitted if there is sufficient availability remaining, and on completion of a card providing your contact details for the government Test & Trace system.

For more about the other concerts in the Brian Runnett Memorial Organ Recital Series click here

Picture of Norwich Cathedral organ: Paul Hurst
Picture of Brian Runnett: Norwich Cathedral Library