Sitting at the top of Ludgate Hill, St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic buildings. The crowning achievement of legendary British architect Sir Christopher Wren, this astonishing English Baroque building was at the forefront of efforts to restore the capital to its former glory after the Great Fire of London.
Completed in 1708, the dome of St Paul’s has enjoyed a privileged place in the country’s popular imagination ever since. The cathedral was only superseded as the tallest structure in London by the BT Tower in 1962 and despite newer buildings like Canary Wharf and the Shard jostling for similar fame it still dominates the city’s skyline.
As befits its stature, St Paul’s Cathedral is also home to one of Britain’s most impressive pipe organs. With over 7,000 pipes, five manuals and 108 stops, the instrument is one of the finest and most expressive of its kind in the world.
Next week, the cathedral’s annual series of organ recitals commences, giving visitors to the capital a unique opportunity to hear the instrument played by some of the country’s leading virtuosos.
There will be regular recitals throughout the summer, with the first being held on Thursday evening (May 2nd). Simon Johnson, the assistant director of music at St Paul’s and the cathedral’s resident organist, will take to the keys with a programme that incorporates JS Bach, Felix Mendelssohn and the 20th century English composer William Walton.
Whether you’re an organ enthusiast, a classical music buff or just hoping to hear a world-class performance in one of London’s most beautiful buildings, the recital should prove unmissable.
Visitors staying in one of the luxury hotels in London are surely already planning to take in the majesty of St Paul’s and this is a great way to do it. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £7 for concessions. They are sold on the doors, which open at 6:30pm.