Indra Hughes | Sunday 16 June, 2pm
In this entertaining and popular programme, Indra Hughes draws on the full range of the magnificent Town Hall organ tradition. From some of the best examples of British light music to the mighty organ classics like the famous Widor Toccata, as well as great music by Bach and Handel, this concert will showcase the full range of our Town Hall Organ.
Dr Indra Hughes knows the Auckland Town Hall organ inside out, and was closely involved in its re-design and 2010 inauguration: he played at the opening of the organ and gave one of the inaugural solo recitals in 2010, and has since given more public concerts on this organ than any other organist. He is well known in New Zealand and overseas through his work as an organist, conductor, and broadcaster.
Read more about The Auckland Town Hall Organ
Hidden behind the beautiful 1911 facade is an array of thousands of pipes, dozens of bellows and a network of sophisticated wiring and technology. This organ has gained a reputation as one the world’s finest concert hall instruments: a reputation endorsed by many visiting international organists.
It was not always so. In 1970 the original instrument was replaced with a new organ of a different style. But it was soon discovered that it could not fill the hall with sound. In 2010 the ‘lost splendour’ returned with the Town Hall’s third organ – an instrument built to match its opulent surroundings.
Protected as a heritage item, the new organ contains some of the original 1911 pipes, which were repaired, re-voiced and reincorporated into the instrument as part of the 2010 refit. At the same time, two stops were specially designed to capture the spirit of two traditional Māori instruments – the pūkāea and the kōauau– and unique Māori decorations were added to the largest 12 pipes of each rank.
An internal viewers’ walkway runs inside the organ from where the carvings are just a few of the myriad of fascinating features of the instrument that are visible.