March heralds the start of the 2020 Organ Recital Series which sees the cathedral welcome first-rate organists to play Truro’s acclaimed Father Willis Organ. This year the free series gets a world-class launch with a recital by Thomas Wilson, director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, Australia. Thomas has been director of music at St Mary’s Cathedral since February 2010. Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Thomas held positions at both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic Cathedrals in that city before being appointed director of music at Wellington Metropolitan Cathedral at the age of 18.
In 2003 Thomas moved to the UK to study organ with Professor David Titterington at the Royal Academy of Music. While a student he made his debut performance in the Wigmore Hall accompanying cellist Stephen Isserlis, and appeared as concert soloist with the Royal Academy Baroque Orchestra.
Thomas was appointed organist and assistant director of the choir of Ealing Abbey and subsequently assistant organist at Westminster Cathedral, where the famed cathedral choir sings daily Vespers and Mass. At Westminster he regularly accompanied and directed the choir, performed in the Cathedral’s Grand Organ Recital series, toured with the choir, and featured as organist on a recording of music by Victoria and Frescobaldi.
Since taking up his appointment at St Mary’s Cathedral, Thomas has established a regular schedule of daily choral liturgical services. In 2011 the choir went on tour to Rome, singing for the opening of Domus Australia in the presence of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. In 2018 the choir took part in the International Festival of Gregorian Chant in Watou, Belgium, gave concerts in Florence, Siena, and Rome, and sang with the Sistine Choir in St Peter’s Basilica at Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on Pentecost Sunday. In 2013 Thomas was elected Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Vers l'espérance (Trois Poemes: III)
Thierry Escaich (b. 1965)
Orb and Sceptre
William Walton (1902–1983), arr. Sir William McKie (1901–1984)
Toccata and Fugue in F BWV 540
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
Jehan Alain (1911–1940)
Tu es petra (Esquisses Byzantines, x)
Henri Mulet (1878–1967)
The series runs from March to October and each recital lasts around 45 minutes. Each lunchtime concert is completely free to attend, the cathedral only asks that if you are able, you consider making a donation – the income generated by the generosity of both the audience and artists (who play for free) directly supports music at the cathedral and the ability to continue to offer such community events.