The Organist Entertains

Organ recital presented by Martin Setchell


September 30, 2pm


Christ Church, Wicksteed St.

From China to Canada, Scotland to Australia, England to Singapore, and New Zealand to Germany, Martin Setchell has delighted audiences the world over with his spirited playing, lively personality and entertaining repertoire.

Some organists play mainly for other organists. Martin programmes and plays for a wider audience of music lovers who want more than just another organ recital. His engaging organ concerts appeal to all ages and are often spiced with characteristic touches of English humour. Who says that organ music can't be fun? Far from ignoring his audience from the isolation of the loft, he takes them with him to the console.

Born in the north of England town of Blackpool, Martin holds Honours degrees in both French and Music from the University of Exeter, and was awarded both the Limpus and Shinn prizes when he received his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists in London. Subsequently he undertook advanced studies in Classical organ technique with Pierre Cochereau (then titular organist of Notre Dame in Paris), Marie-Claire Alain, Piet Kee, and Peter Hurford.

Martin emigrated to New Zealand in 1974 on his appointment to the University of Canterbury School of Music where he is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Music and University Organist. He maintains a busy schedule of recitals and concerts as soloist, accompanist and continuo player on organ and harpsichord. Since 1997, when he was appointed curator of the Rieger pipe organ in the Christchurch Town Hall, he has principally devoted himself to promoting the organ as a concert instrument internationally.

His solo concert tours outside New Zealand regularly take him to Australia, America, Europe and the Far East.

Some concert highlights include the Spreckels organ in Balboa Park, San Diego, the Mormon Tabernacle Organ in Salt Lake City, the famous Hill organ in Sydney Town Hall, Australia, Oliwa Cathedral in Poland as part of the Gdansk International Organ Festival, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai, China, the Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Birmingham Town Hall, St Paul's Cathedral, London, and St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland.
This year his concert tours will take him to Australia (three times), Germany, and Poland.
His CDs include A Taste of Shropshire, (Quantum) recorded at Ludlow Parish church in England, the highly successful Bonbons for Organ series and Pink and White, an anthology of New Zealand organ music (Atoll) and Great Australasian Organs VII featuring the Rieger organ of Christchurch Town Hall (Priory 1031, UK).
His most recent recording is Cardboard Cathedral Organ Capers recorded on the Rodgers Infinity organ of the Transitional Anglican Cathedral.

As a composer, Martin Setchell concentrates on writing tuneful and accessible organ and choral music. His Wedding March extraordinaire is recently published by Butz Verlag in Bonn. He is also known for his volumes of transcriptions for organ. Music by Fauré, Bizet, and the Sousa marches are published by Kevin Mayhew Music and his arrangements of Saint-Saens, Purcell and Bach are published by OUP in their Oxford Organ Series.

Martin's other activities include conducting (especially choral works and chamber operas), and public speaking. He lives in Christchurch with his wife Jenny, and two Burmese cats.
In 2008 he was honoured by the City of Christchurch, receiving a Civic Award for services to music in the community and the Town Hall organ in particular.

Tickets for the Whanganui concert are available at the door and are $25 for adults, $20 for members of Friends of the Organ. Admission is free for children and students.