On Tuesday 6 June, Peter Dyke will perform a gala organ concert featuring Elgar’s Enigma Variations at Hereford Cathedral.

Peter Dyke, Assistant Director of Music at Hereford Cathedral, says: ‘Elgar’s “Nimrod” from his Enigma Variations is rightly one of the most famous pieces of music ever composed by a British composer. Since John Clarke, a passionate supporter of organ music here at the cathedral, suggested I transcribe the whole of the Variations for the organ, audiences have remarked on how well our Father Willis organ suits this beautiful orchestral music. So, by popular request, I’ve decided to build a gala concert programme around this great work.’

The Enigma Variations were dedicated by Elgar ‘ ... to my friends pictured within’ and each variation depicts a different friend or family member. Characters portrayed range from his wife Alice to George Robertson Sinclair, the organist of Hereford Cathedral, whose music depicts his dog falling into the River Wye and scrambling out – a moment which is immortalised on the banks of the river with a wooden sculpture of Dan the dog.

The concert will also feature Reger’s Variations and Fugue on ‘Heil dir im Siegerkranz’ (God save the King), Alain’s Variations sur un thème de Clément Jannequin and Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor.

Peter continues: ‘Variations give an organist plenty of opportunities to explore various textures and colours on an instrument, and it’s almost certain that listeners will make some new discoveries – as indeed I have in preparing the works! In addition to the Elgar, I’ll play Bach’s monumental Passacaglia and Fugue, along with music by Max Reger and Jehan Alain.’

Peter, who this year celebrated 25 years at Hereford Cathedral, was born in Hertfordshire and was organ scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge. Peter has a keen interest in teaching and has helped to found two highly successful organists’ training schemes; his work in this and other fields was recognised by the Royal School of Church Music, which awarded him the ARSCM in 2010.

The gala concert forms part of the cathedral’s incredibly popular summer organ recital series which sees organists from across the country, and the world, travel to Hereford to perform on the famous Father Willis organ. Tickets for the gala concert cost £12 (students £5, children under 18 free) and can be purchased via the cathedral website or from the Cathedral Shop on 01432 374 210.

To book your tickets for the gala organ concert, please click here.