Sony Classical Signs Organist Anna Lapwood - EP out in April, New Album Later This Year
Sony Classical Signs Organist Anna Lapwood
Five-Track EP To Be Released In April and New Album Later This Year
Photographer credit © Charlotte Ellis
“She had rightly become “the world’s most visible organist” - New York Times
“She is much more than a gifted organist, choral conductor and social media sensation… she’s a star on a mission” - The Sunday Times
Upcoming US Concerts:
March 28: First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto, CA
April 1: Pacific Symphony, Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, CA
Anna Lapwood has signed with Sony Classical and will release a five-track EP of film transcriptions in April, recorded on the organ of the Royal Albert Hall in London. An album will arrive later this year, as well as a host of prestigious organ recitals and concertos this spring. The first single from the EP - Cornfield Chase (From “Interstellar”) composed by Hans Zimmer - is available now.
The 27-year-old from a small Oxfordshire village has been making waves with her exciting approach to organ playing, awakening the senses of young and old alike, opening the gateways to classical music and shining a light on an often under-appreciated instrument.
By day, Anna Lapwood runs choirs and teaches at Cambridge University’s Pembroke College, practising the organ at every opportunity. By night, her role as Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall sees her granted special access to the majestic instrument while most of us are fast asleep. This has led to an entirely spontaneous collaboration with electronic musician Bonobo - one late-night practice session was interrupted by a request shouted up from the stage, which turned out to come from a couple of members of Bonobo’s band. Eighteen hours later, she was helping them close their show to an unsuspecting audience of 5,000. The list of special collaborations doesn’t stop there. So comfortable at the venue is Anna that when she realised that a practice session coincided with Benedict Cumberbatch appearing at the Hall, she approached the actor and asked if he wanted to have a go on the organ. He and his wife Sophie Hunter, the theatre and opera director, duly accepted.
“I played for them for about 10 minutes, and then they both had a go,” says Anna. “Benedict played Bach’s Prelude In C Major (BWV 846). We had a chat and after they left, I started practising Cornfield Chase. Benedict’s bodyguards ran back on stage as they love the piece and Benedict followed and asked if I could do it again so he could film it. When I finished, I realised he was crying, and he said: ‘You’ve got to join Letters Live tomorrow’. Then I started crying!” As Benedict read former US President Richard Nixon’s letter, written to be shared if the moon landings had failed and lives had been lost, Anna played Cornfield Chase to close the show. Anna continues to relive the magic of that event through her videos to her 450,000+ TikTok followers - a tool she is using with exciting results. The power of social media gives the ability to demystify the outdated baggage the organ once carried along with it, throwing open the doors to all sorts of possibilities.
Only 8% of organists responsible for recitals in the UK in 2022 are women. Anna’s #playlikeagirl social media hashtag, which isn’t about dividing, but uniting and reminding women to own themselves, be themselves and find themselves through music, has blown up. With an exciting year to come, and her signing to Sony Classical indicating a new and exciting chapter in her career, keep an eye out for the woman who can do it all.
“There’s all sorts of old ideas about who goes to an organ concert, and it was seen as having gone out of fashion. That has definitely changed,” insists Anna: “This instrument is anything from boring – just ask Benedict Cumberbatch!”
Appearances include the following, with more concerts to be announced soon
February Sat 4th BBC Radio 3: Record Review, Contributor
Sat 18th Organ Recital - St Luke's Church, Battersea, London
March Tue 28th Organ Recital - First Palo Alto United Methodist Church, California
April Sat 1st Organ Recital: Segerstrom Concert Hall, California
Sat 22nd Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No. 3 with the London Mozart Players - Fairfield Halls, Croydon (Pipe Dreams)
Wed 26th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No. 3, Hallé Orchestra - Bridgewater Hall
Thu 27th Chetham's School of Music Masterclass - Manchester
Thu 27th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, Hallé Orchestra - Bridgewater Hall
Sun 30th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, Hallé Orchestra - Bridgewater Hall
June Sun 4th Royal Albert Hall Organ Celebration (Recital) - Royal Albert Hall
July Sat 1st Organ Recital - St Mary's Church, Saffron Walden
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