Gillian Weir

Categories: IPYA Winners

Gillian Weir, born in New Zealand but long resident in England, is one of today’s foremost artists. Through her unique career as an internationally-acclaimed concert organist, performing world-wide at the major festivals and with leading orchestras and conductors, Dame Gillian is famous as a distinguished musician known for her artistry, virtuosity and integrity, her reputation extending well beyond the world of the organ.

Her renown as a performer, which has stimulated numerous young players to follow her, is backed by her scholarly reputation; she is in demand as an adjudicator for all the leading international competitions and as a lecturer, broadcaster, teacher and writer, while her television appearances have reached vast new audiences. Her repertoire is exceptional in its breadth and variety, stretching from the Renaissance to contemporary works. She has performed the complete works of Bach as well as those of Messiaen and others, and her pre-eminent position as Messiaen interpreter has been underlined with the release of his complete organ works on compact disc. This was universally received with such plaudits as Le Monde’s (Paris): “This intégrale is a worthy successor to that by Messiaen himself”, and with Yvonne Loriod Messiaen’s, “C’est magnifique!”. She has also made major contributions to Faber’s The Messiaen Companion and other publications. She has received a host of prizes, awards and honors, and in 1996 was created Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her distinguished services to music, after having been made CBE in 1989.

Gillian Weir’s achievements have been marked by the re-issue on compact disc of her legendary series of Argo recordings, and by her nomination by Classic CD magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Keyboard Players of the Century, as well as by the Sunday Times as one of the 1000 Music Makers of the Millennium. In December 2000, Britain’s famed South Bank Show (on the ITV network) chronicled her worldwide activities as performer, teacher and recording artist in a fascinating documentary.

See also Gillian Weir’s personal web site:

Gillian Weir’s recital for the International Performer of the Year Award was given on 27 May 1981 at Alice Tully HallClick here to see the actual program with notes.

Click here to listen to performances by Gillian Weir and conversation with Michael Barone on Pipedreams.