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Freemasons’ Hall to welcome Donald MacKenzie for winter organ concert


Freemasons’ Hall to welcome Donald MacKenzie for winter organ concert

Freemasons’ Hall to welcome Donald MacKenzie for winter organ concert

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the home of Freemasonry in England and Wales, has announced its winter organ concert for 2023, which will take place at Freemasons’ Hall on 8 March at 6:00pm.

The concert is to be given by Donald MacKenzie, one of Europe’s finest organists, who has been performing since 1988.

The musical selection for the night includes Air from Orchestral Suite No 3 in D – J S Bach (1685-1750); My Fair Lady Potpourri – Lerner & Lowe; London by Night – Carroll Coates (1929-); Leicester Square Looks Round – John Howlett (1906-1985); and The Mikado Potpourri – Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900).

Sir Andrew Parmley, chairman of the UGLE Organ Committee and CEO of the Royal College of Organists, said:

“This is a great opportunity for people to come and hear Donald MacKenzie, the renowned organist at the Odeon Leicester Square, play a programme of light music on the refurbished Willis organ in the Grand Temple, for free. It also gives visitors a chance to see one of the best examples of art deco architecture in London.”

MacKenzie’s career has included numerous Royal Film Performances, several of which were in the presence of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

In March he will be adding the Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall to the long list of prestigious venues he has performed at, including his long association with the world-famous Compton organ at the Odeon, Leicester Square, since 1992.

The event will showcase the magnificent Willis pipe organ.

The original organ was installed in 1933 by Henry Willis, the third generation of an extended family line of organ builders. It originally had three manuals and 43 stops, giving a total complement of some 2,220 pipes, and was the last big organ built by the Willis firm.

After 80 years, it was in need of a complete renovation, which was carried out in Durham by Harrison & Harrison in 2014 and included the cleaning, repairing and revoicing of the existing mechanisms, as well as mounting a new case of some 400 pipes on the east wall.

An art deco masterpiece, Freemasons’ Hall was completed in 1933 as a memorial to the nearly 3,500 Freemasons who lost their lives during The Great War. The Grand Temple was designed as a pentagon to suit the irregular area in which it is located and features stunning ceiling mosaics.

Free tickets for the concert are available to book on the ugle website.

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