An enthusiastic and eager audience filled the Duke’s Hall on the 7th of October for the premiere performance of the Royal Academy of Music’s new symphonic organ.
In a project that first started in earnest in 2009 with a fundraising concert by Elton and Ray Cooper at the Royal Albert Hall, the magnificent instrument finally arrived in its new home during the summer four years later. All twenty-four tonnes were transported from Kuhn Orgelbau’s Swiss workshop near Lake Zurich to the Duke’s Hall, where tens of thousands of parts were assembled under the eyes of the world through he academy's live webcam.
Gleaming tin front pipes are decorated with horizontal coloured rods and tipped with twenty-three carat gold-leaf pipe mouths all encased in a stylish maple wood frame. The juxtaposition of the elegant Duke’s Hall and the contemporary appearance of the instrument embody the artistic inspirations of the institution – described by the Principal, Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, as the ‘healthy interaction between tradition and innovation that is an essential and inspiring feature of so much Academy life.’
A statement released by the RAM acknowledged the ''ovewhelming generosity'' of Elton and Ray.
''Sir Elton, a passionate advocate of the academy’s work, performed with Ray Cooper in two spectacular concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House to raise funds for the new instrument.''
There are currently Pinterest picures of the organ under construction.
And over the next year, the RAM promises ''an exhilarating events programme'' to celebrate the arrival of ''this truly world-class instrument.''