News and events
Summer course in Moulins (France)

13-17 August, 2023

A course on the 1880 Merklin organ of Moulins Cathedral

Study day on Bach's Art of Fugue

October 21, 2023

A study day with eminent Dutch musician Pieter Dirksen

Cambridge Academy of Organ Studies
Playing and studying pipe organs in Cambridge



The Cambridge Academy of Organ studies offers a range of events aimed at promoting the playing and study of pipe organs built on historic principles. Click on the links to the left to explore some of what we have done.

The keyboard music of William Byrd
February 25, 2023
Byrd's keyboard music.
The 400th anniversary of Byrd's death was marked with a study day on the composer's keyboard music led by Professor Desmond Hunter, an acknowledged expert on keyboard music of this period.
The morning's lecture-demonstration was followed by a masterclass for five students, all playing from Dr Hunter's own edition (published by Bärenreiter) of selected keyboard works.

The organ by Taylor & Boody in Sidney Sussex College was an ideal instrument for the music, with 1/5th comma meantone temperament and a keyboard ideal for early fingerings, including a short octave in the bass.

Dr Hunter's extensive knowledge of the sources has served as a basis for his work on ornamentation, both single and double-stroke symbols, which he argues have a much wider range of interpretations than that given in the standard textbooks. Other important topics discussed were the flexibility of tempi and meter in the Fantasias, features not obviously revealed in modern computer-set editions with their regularized bar lines. Dr Hunter's own edition seeks to reproduce many of the notational conventions of Byrd's time, including coloration, making possible a wider range of interpretational possibilities.

Dr Hunter with students David Parry-Smith (Linton P.C.), Hannes von Bargen (Royal Academy of Music), Jonathan Lee (Trinity College) and Lorenzo Bennett (Homerton). Jerry Lin (Churchill) also took part.

Nicolas de Grigny anniversary with Dr David Ponsford
October 29, 2022
Event to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of Nicolas de Grigny.

A complete performance of the Mass from Grigny's Livre d'Orgue took place in the chapel of Trinity College, played by eight organ scholars from different colleges under the guidance of Dr David Ponsford. A plainsong choir singing alternatim verses was directed by Matthew Martin.

This was followed by a Symposium in the Senior Parlour of Gonville & Caius College with Edward Higginbottom and David Ponsford, chaired by Paul Binski. Discussion focused on the liturgical background, the alternatim structure, the influence on JS Bach, sources, modern editions & the problems creating them, the Reims organ, de Grigny’s stature compared with his contemporaries, the range of genres & styles used, and performance practices.

Organ scholars L to R: Tammas Slater (Caius), Davon Halim (Christ's), Andreana Chan (Pembroke),
Alexander van Dijk (Fitzwilliam), Dr David Ponsford, Jonathan Lee (Trinity), Jack McCabe (Queens'),
Lorenzo Bennett (Homerton), Adam Field (Selwyn).