If music is at the heart of the Cathedral, then the famous Gloucester organ is its heartbeat
The Gloucester Cathedral organ was originally constructed in 1666 by Thomas Harris and represents the only complete 17th Century cathedral organ case in this country. It has been associated with many illustrious musicians over the centuries, including the likes of Sir Herbert Brewer, Herbert Howells and John Stafford Smith.
The need for significant work on a cathedral organ comes every 50-70 years, and it falls to our generation to secure it for the future. This need was emphasised by its premature failure in the Spring of 2022. The famous organ has since been replaced by an electronic instrument, gifted to us by a generous supporter. However, this is a temporary solution which does not relieve us from our duty as custodians of this building to look after, protect and maintain its fabric and parts.
To bring the Cathedral organ back to life, we contracted Worcestershire-based pipe organ builders, Nicholson & Co Ltd, to refurbish and renew the instrument in time for the 2026 Three Choirs Festival. This work is vital to ensure the organ remains at the very heart of Cathedral music, and that it can continue to inspire, educate and captivate musicians and audiences for generations to come.
Good progress has been made to remove old components of the instrument, and Nicholson & Co Ltd is now beginning the painstaking work of building new parts, and refurbishing existing elements, of the Cathedral organ.