An encyclopedia of the world’s most famous pipe organs
Thomas Heywood is the first Australian to regularly perform solo concerts on the most celebrated pipe organs across the globe. For over a decade he has performed solo concerts throughout North America and Europe from the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world in San Diego, California to Windsor Castle. He continues solo touring internationally for over four months each year.
From one standing ovation to the next
Thomas Heywood has performed concerts throughout the USA from Southern California to New England and from New Orleans to Minneapolis.
Acclaimed concerts: on the largest pipe organ in New York City at The Riverside Church; at Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina; at the famous Methuen Memorial Music Hall near Boston; at Dallas, Texas; at Chattanooga, Tennessee; at Dayton, Ohio; at Lincoln, Nebraska; at Buffalo, New York; at Portland, Maine; at Orlando, Florida and at the Cincinnati Museum Center, to name but a few, have earned him an enviable reputation from critics and audiences alike as "unsurpassed today...beyond brilliant".
God Save the Queen
Heywood has performed solo concerts throughout England, Scotland and Wales on the most famous pipe organs in Britain.
From a solo concert at Windsor Castle, return engagements in world-famous cathedrals include: St Paul’s Cathedral, London; Canterbury Cathedral; York Minster; Chester Cathedral; Exeter Cathedral; Lincoln, Southwell, Lichfield and many more. Also celebrated concert halls from Usher Hall, Edinburgh to Caird Hall, Dundee. Other significant concerts include St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, St Michael’s Cornhill, London, St John’s Smith Square, Westminster - one of London’s finest concert venues, and the iconic 5-manual Schulze organ in Doncaster Minster.
Organs of Erin
Ireland is no stranger to Heywood’s concerts where, as the critics say, he has "a rapport that a rapper would envy." From Galway Cathedral on the west coast to several concerts in Waterford Cathedral since 2004, Irish audiences have been brought to "noisy standing ovations."
Beethoven in Bonn and a World Heritage Site
Heywood has performed throughout Germany.
He has performed Beethoven’s music in Bonn, the famous composer’s birthplace. He has given a solo concert in the 4th-century Basilica of Constantine in Trier, the largest extant hall from antiquity and a World Heritage Site. He has performed in the celebrated Marktkirche in Wiesbaden, Paderborn Cathedral, Himmerod Abbey, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Koblenz, Altenberg and more.
The German press call him the "Ironman der Orgel. Der australische Starorganist Thomas Heywood."
Austria’s world-famous "Bruckner Organ"
In 2012, Heywood was invited for an immediate season return solo concert on the largest pipe organ in Austria: the world-famous "Bruckner Organ".
A first outside Europe and North America
In January 2012, Heywood became the first artist based outside Europe and North America to be signed by Karen McFarlane Artists in the 91-year history of the world’s premier management for concert organists.
Since 1921, the agency has managed the Who’s Who of world-famous organists from Marcel Dupré, Louis Vierne, Fernando Germani and Joseph Bonnet to Maurice Duruflé, Anton Heiller, Jean Langlais and Flor Peeters. In recent years, other organists managed by the agency include Dame Gillian Weir and Simon Preston. The present roster includes the world’s most celebrated organists and the world’s finest choirs from New College, Oxford to Westminster Abbey.
A first for Australia
Thomas Heywood is the first Australian musician in history to ever live as a professional concert organist. "Australia’s Premier Organist" has also performed more concerts in Australia than any other organist. To date, he has presented over 1,500 concerts around Australia to over 500,000 people.
Recordings across three continents
In 2009 Heywood became the first, and remains the only, concert organist in the world to release three recordings from three different continents within seven months: Australia, Europe and North America.
To Russia with Love
In December 2012 and January 2013, Heywood has a solo concert tour of Russia from the Pacific Coast to Moscow - across nine time zones.
Heywood and Australia’s Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ
Thomas Heywood first performed on the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ when he was 16 years old.
As part of the City of Melbourne’s 150th Celebrations, he made the first major commercial recording on the Grand Organ at 18 years of age.
In 1994, the City of Melbourne presented 20 year-old Thomas Heywood in a year-long series of Grand Organ Concerts at the Melbourne Town Hall – the first time such a solo series had been presented for over fifty years since the resignation of the last Melbourne City Organist, Sir William McKie, in 1938. Performing regular concerts on the grandest organ in Australia, Heywood reached out to thousands of people and began to build his immense repertoire of the finest concert organ music.
In 2001, following the A$4.5 million rebuilding of the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ as the largest musical instrument in the southern hemisphere, Heywood performed the Opening Solo Concert on the instrument when he was 27 years old.
Heywood’s premiere CD and DVD of the new Grand Organ broke records and became among the best-selling organ recordings of all time.
In 2011, supported by the City of Melbourne, Heywood released a new CD celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Opening of the new Grand Organ.
Heywood has performed on the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ more than any other living organist.
"The Crocodile Hunter of the Organ" (The Dallas Morning News) and
ANZCO – The Australian and New Zealand College of Organists
Heywood is committed to promoting and preserving Australasia’s unique pipe organ heritage. In addition to his work as a concert artist, in 2011 he became the Founding President and Australian National Director of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists (ANZCO) - www.anzco.org - the only pipe organ related organisation working internationally in Australia and New Zealand with links around the world.
ANZCO will soon be presenting nationwide Pipe Organ Education Programmes in schools across Australasia, and establishing - for the first time - a management for international organists wishing to tour in Australia and New Zealand.
The largest musical instrument in any Australian school
Heywood was the Consultant for the installation of the largest and most valuable musical instrument in any Australian school: the Grand Concert Organ in Aikman Hall, Haileybury, Melbourne. He opened the instrument in 2009.
Heywood and the complete Beethoven Symphonies
For the first time in history, Thomas Heywood is arranging and performing the complete Beethoven Symphonies for concert organ solo. This is the first time a solo concert performer has attempted such an incredible feat.
An audience of over 2,000 people gave Heywood’s world premiere performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony a standing ovation and three encores at the Opening Solo Concert on Australia’s new Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ.
At his Concert Organ Spectacular on 9 September 2001, Heywood’s world premiere performance of Beethoven’s First Symphony in C major was met with another standing ovation.
Thomas Heywood’s series of Beethoven’s complete symphonies makes the most significant contribution to the concert organ repertoire since the death of virtuoso concert organist Edwin H. Lemare in 1934.
The complete Beethoven Symphonies are being published by Hillwood Publishing. Symphony No. 5 in C minor is available now.
Thomas Heywood and the previous ‘Golden Age’ of the Concert Organ!
Thomas Heywood’s research interests are in the repertoire, performers and organs of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially the previous ‘Golden Age’ of the Concert Organ between 1840 and 1930.
For three years from 1992 Heywood made the one of the first comprehensive studies of the work of W.T. Best, acclaimed as the greatest 19th-century concert organist; Heywood compiled a complete catalogue of Best’s contribution to the repertoire, as well as undertaking an extensive study of Best’s life and character.
He has also contributed to The Oxford Companion to Australian Music and his articles have been published in learned musical journals and magazines around the world.
Please contact us for further information!