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Calgary Organ Festival
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David Goode

Read about one of our Newly Discovered Stars, David Goode on the Artist Channel with a video interview from his home in Christchurch College, Auden Cottage, (yes, that Auden used to live there) and at the organ in Christ Church Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in England.

British organist David Goode created a sensation at the Calgary International Organ Competition in 1998 when he performed his own pyrotechnically demanding arrangement of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes march playing the main tune with his right foot, the bass line with his left foot, the harmonies with his left hand and the top line counterpoint with his right hand. His daring extravaganza is a clue to his eclecticism and character. He is one of the world’s most brilliant, versatile and imaginative organists and a very lively speaker with a highly varied range of artistic interests.

David Goode was a boy chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral, where the range and power of the grand organ first captivated his imagination. He went on to be a music scholar at Eton College, where he began his first serious study on the organ. After winning the top prizes for the Associate and Fellow of the Royal College of Organists he became an Organ Scholar of King’s College Cambridge in 1991, graduating in 1994 with first-class honours. He took organ lessons from David Sanger and Jacques van Oortmerssen. He was already displaying his very wide musical interests when he decided to take a Master of Philosophy degree with a thesis on Busoni and Pfitzner whose very different styles and positions in musical history fascinated him.

In 1996 David Goode was appointed the Sub-Organist of Christ Church, Oxford, where he combines duties as Evensong Organist with adventurous recitals, broadcasts and recordings that have won him worldwide fame. His repertoire is extremely wide and varied including major European classical masterworks and a great deal of contemporary and new music. In 1997/1998 he performed the entire works of Reger at Christ Church and also performed a programme of German romantic music for the BBC.

In contemporary music David Goode gave the first ever organ recital in the prestigious Park Lane Group Young Artists series of concerts, including performances of Robin Holloway’s Fantasy and Sir Alexander Goehr’s Chaconne, which he subsequently recorded for the BBC. He also took part in a virtuoso capacity in the EMI CD recording debut of music by Thomas Ades.

David Goode’s spectacular performances have swept the board at two of the world’s most prestigious organ competition festivals: in 1997 he won the top prizes at the St Albans Interpretation Competition, and in 1998 he won both the Recital Gold Medal and the Encore Prize at the Calgary International Competition.

David Goode is now in great international demand as a soloist, with tours upcoming in the USA, German and the Far East. He has made a very strong impact with his first solo recordings: these are of French showpieces by Dupre, Widor, d’Indy, Nibelle, Vierne, Langlais and Durufle, a recording of music by Franck, Vierne, Dupre and Preston, and a CD called ‘Orb and Sceptre’ consisting of music by Bach, Handel, Elgar, Walton, Widor, Vierne, Guilmant, Boellmann and Dubois. David Goode’s dynamism, colour, panache and sensitivity in these recordings have been most highly praised.

Although his schedule as a soloist and sub-organist at Christ Church is extremely taxing, David Goode finds time to go to many orchestral concerts and opera performances to hear the very wide variety of music he loves.

Jon Tolansky

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