29 September - 4 October 2002



The Organ Historical Trust of Australia is holding its 25th anniversary conference in the island state of Tasmania, to the south of the Australian mainland. The conference will be based in Launceston, in the north of the island, and Hobart, the capital, to the south. Both cities are attractively sited and have great charm, retaining a wealth of Victorian and Edwardian buildings.


The conference will consist of a number of recitals, some of which will focus upon programmes contemporary with the organs, together with the indigenous repertoire, much of great interest, but largely forgotten. A range of papers will be presented examining such topics as organ recording and broadcasting (with significant historic examples), recital programming (the repertoire versus transcription divide), organ conservation, archival research, reconstruction of historic organs, and far more! There will be an architectural walk around Launceston while in Hobart we will be visiting a major exhibition on the Australian work of Augustus Welby Pugin at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery to mark the 150th anniversary of his death.


The instruments themselves will be an important attraction. These include significant and intact examples of the early work of J.C. Bishop, Charles Brindley, Bevington & Sons, James Corps and J.W. Walker, together with the local organbuilders William Anderson, George Fincham and J.E. Dodd. The Brindley organ of 1860 at the Albert Hall, Launceston, with its Schulze-inspired choruses, is among the earliest examples of its builder's work to survive and of international significance. At each of the organ visits, there will be discussions relating to the history of the instrument, its builder and stylistic characteristics, and demonstrations based upon contemporary repertoire.


We will be delighted to welcome Stephen Bicknell as our keynote speaker and look forward to several fascinating and informative papers. This will be his first visit to Australia. The recitals will be given by several Australian organists of note including Sydney City Organist Robert Ampt, Sydney University Organist Amy Johansen, and David Hamnes, now resident in Norway.




(details correct April 2002 but may be subject to minor change)


Sunday 29 September

Registration at the Albert Hall (1.45 pm)

Afternoon recital at Albert Hall by Robert Ampt: 1860 opening recital programme of the Brindley organ, followed by organ tour

Conference dinner and Keynote Address by Stephen Bicknell


Monday 30 September

Conservation, Restoration & Research: Seminar one at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery Inveresk, including papers and demonstration of the 'Port Arthur' organ

Architectural walk around inner Launceston

Twilight recital by Amy Johansen at Central Baptist Church based upon programmes of renowned organist Lilian Frost (organist here until 1895)


Tuesday 1 October

Organ teaching, repertoire, recording & broadcasting: Seminar two at Sandors on the Park, including papers on recording and radio broadcasting, programming and composition followed by Annual General Meeting

Organs by Anderson, Bishop & Walker west of Launceston: afternoon bus visit

Dinner at East Devonport


Wednesday 2 October

Organs by Corps, Dodd & Fincham in Launceston: morning visit

Bus visit to 'Clarendon' (National Trust mansion)

The documentation of Australian organ music and the Launceston architect Alexander North: papers at St John's Church, Launceston

Twilight recital: Australian organ music at St John's


Thursday 3 October

Organs by Bevington, Bishop and Walker: all day bus tour from Launceston to Hobart with catered lunch at Campbell Town and Pugin church at Oatlands


Friday 4 October

Morning tour of Pugin exhibition at Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery with talk by Brian Andrews

Lunchtime recital on Walker organ at Hobart Town Hall by David Hamnes

Concluding event at Wurlitzer organ, St Michael's Collegiate School


For further details, including a copy of the conference brochure (available early May 2002), please email John Maidment at [email protected].