TikTok Organ Sensation Anna Lapwood Announces Brand New EP Of Film Transcriptions
Midnight Sessions At The Royal Albert Hall – out April 21st
First Release On Sony Classical
Album To Arrive Later This Year & Live Performances Throughout 2023
INTRODUCTION VIDEO HERE
“She is much more than a gifted organist, choral conductor and social media sensation…
she’s a star on a mission” – The Sunday Times
Anna Lapwood is like no other musician, and after recently signing a major label deal with Sony Classical, she will release her 5 track Midnight Sessions At The Royal Albert Hall EP of film transcriptions on April 21st, recorded on the organ of the Royal Albert Hall. An album will arrive later this year, as well as a host of prestigious organ recitals and concertos this Spring.
The first single from the EP – ‘Cornfield Chase (From “Interstellar”)’ composed by Hans Zimmer – is out today (listen here), and you can get to know this extremely exciting and talented artist via her Introduction video here.
Of the EP and first single, Anna comments; “Over the last 11 months I’ve been lucky enough to be let into the Royal Albert Hall in the middle-of-the night for practice sessions on the hall’s magnificent organ. As I’ve explored the strange, beautiful and wonderful colours that it has to offer, I’ve written a set of new film music transcriptions with that specific instrument in mind, capturing some of the magic that I feel in that iconic building after hours. Cornfield Chase is a special one because it started me off on this huge journey of exploration and discovery. I was performing a concert at Temple Church in London, where the Interstellar soundtrack was originally recorded, and couldn’t resist trying a little bit out. I posted a short clip on TikTok and it blew up straight away – I didn’t really look back after that!”
The 27-year-old from a small Oxfordshire village has been making waves with her exciting approach to organ playing, awakening the senses of young and old alike, opening the gateways to classical music and shining a light on an often under-appreciated instrument.
The Sunday Times described her as “a star on a mission and a social media sensation”. The New York Times heralded her as “the world’s most visible organist” while The i declared: “TikTok organist told to ‘play like a man’ is leading musical gender equality movement.”
By day she runs choirs and teaches at Cambridge University’s Pembroke College, practising the organ at every opportunity. By night, her role as Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall sees her granted special access to the majestic instrument while most of us are fast asleep. This has led to an entirely spontaneous collaboration with electronic musician Bonobo – one late-night practice session was interrupted by a request shouted up from the stage, which turned out to come from a couple of members of Bonobo’s band. 18 hours later, she was helping them close their show to an unsuspecting audience of 5,000.
The list of special collaborations doesn’t stop there. So comfortable at the venue is Anna that when she realised that a practice session coincided with Benedict Cumberbatch appearing at the Hall, she approached the actor and asked if he wanted to have a go on the organ. He and his wife Sophie Hunter, the theatre and opera director, duly accepted.
“I played for them for about 10 minutes, and then they both had a go,” says Anna. “Benedict played Bach’s Prelude In C Major (BWV 846). We had a chat and after they left, I started practising Cornfield Chase. Benedict’s bodyguards ran back on stage as they love the piece and Benedict followed and asked if I could do it again so he could film it. When I finished, I realised he was crying, and he said: ‘You’ve got to join Letters Live tomorrow’. Then I started crying!” As Benedict read former US President Richard Nixon’s letter, written to be shared if the moon landings had failed and lives had been lost, Anna played Cornfield Chase to close the show.
Anna continues to relive the magic of that event through her videos to her 450,000+ TikTok followers – a tool she is using with exciting results. The power of social media gives the ability to demystify the outdated baggage the organ once carried along with it, throwing open the doors to all sorts of possibilities.
Only 8% of organists responsible for recitals in the UK in 2022 are women. Anna’s #playlikeagirl social media hashtag, which isn’t about dividing, but uniting and reminding women to own themselves, be themselves and find themselves through music, has blown up.
With an exciting year to come, and her signing to Sony Classical indicating a new and exciting chapter in her career, keep an eye out for the woman who can do it all.
“There’s all sorts of old ideas about who goes to an organ concert, and it was seen as having gone out of fashion. That has definitely changed,” insists Anna: “This instrument is anything from boring – just ask Benedict Cumberbatch!”
EP TRACKLIST: MIDNIGHT SESSIONS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
- Cornfield Chase (From “Interstellar”)
- Test Drive (From “How To Train Your Dragon”)
- Davy Jones (From “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”)
- Chevaliers De Sangreal (From “The Da Vinci Code”)
- No Time For Caution (From “Interstellar”)
Appearances include the following, with more concerts to be announced soon
Sat 4th BBC Radio 3: Record Review, Contributor
Sat 18th Organ Recital – St Luke’s Church, Battersea, London
Tue 28th Organ Recital – First Palo Alto United Methodist Church, California
Sat 1st Organ Recital: Segerstrom Concert Hall, California
Sat 22nd Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No. 3 with the London Mozart Players – Fairfield Halls, Croydon (Pipe Dreams)
Wed 26th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No. 3, Hallé Orchestra – Bridgewater Hall
Thu 27th Chetham’s School of Music Masterclass – Manchester
Thu 27th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, Hallé Orchestra – Bridgewater Hall
Sun 30th Poulenc Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, Hallé Orchestra – Bridgewater Hall
Sun 4th Royal Albert Hall Organ Celebration (Recital) – Royal Albert Hall
Sat 1st Organ Recital – St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden