Jennifer Bate, Concert Organist
Jennifer Bate
"...virtuosic, colourful and utterly engaging ... Bate is a marvellous, bold artist, and the instrument soared."
(Paul Driver, Sunday Times 5 Oct 2014 - review of Royal Festival Hall recital 29 Sep 2014)
"esteemed wizard of the organ"
(The Times)

Jennifer Bate is in the top rank of international organists and has long been a favourite at all the world's great festivals. Many composers have written for her, inspired by her phenomenal technique and ability to bring out the colours of the organ. Jennifer gives master-classes worldwide and lectures on a wide range of musical subjects.

Honorary Doctorate in Music by Bristol University

In 1990, Jennifer's artistry and outstanding contribution to music received international recognition with the Personnalité de l'Année award by the French-based jury. She was only the third British artist to achieve this distinction, after Sir Georg Solti and Sir (later Lord) Yehudi Menuhin. In 1996, Jennifer was granted Honorary Citizenship of the Italian province of Alessandria for her services to music in Northern Italy over 20 years. In 2002, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2007, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music by Bristol University and, in 2008, was made an OBE in The Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Jennifer is recognised as the world authority on the organ works of Olivier Messiaen, with whom she worked extensively and became his organist of choice. Her world première recording of his last masterpiece for organ, Livre du Saint Sacrement, had exceptional international success, winning a Grand Prix du Disque. In 1995, Jennifer opened the Messiaen Festival at l'Eglise de la Sainte Trinité, Paris, where his complete organ works were performed and recorded. Among numerous awards for her CD, were the Diapason d'Or (France) and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik(Germany).

French Embassy

In the Spring 2011 list of awards, M. Frédéric Mitterand, Minister of Culture and Communication, awarded Jennifer Bate the rank of Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres, stating that this honour is awarded to renowned artists and writers who have promoted French culture throughout the world. Subsequently, on 13 July, President Sarkozy appointed Jennifer Bate to the rank of Chevalier in the Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur, on the recommendation of M. Alain Juppé, Minister of State and Minister of Foreign and European affairs, stating that this honour is awarded in recognition of her immense skill as an organist and her eminent contribution to making Olivier Messiaen's organ works more widely known throughout the world. She received both awards from the French Ambassador in 2012.


Recent concerts overseas include

Australia Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, Melbourne
Austria Styriarte International Festival, Graz
Vienna Konzerthaus
Lockenhaus Kammermusikfest and Orgelfest
Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg
Croatia Lisinski Concert Hall, Zagreb
Czech Republic Prague Symphony Orchestra series Church of St Simon & St Jude
Estonia Tallinn - Niguliste Church Tallinn
Pärnu - Concert Hall (with Priit Volmer, bass)
Tartu - Paulus Church
France Avignon Messiaen Festival
Notre Dame de Bon Voyage, Cannes
Germany Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg
Dortmund Konzerthaus Messiaen Festival
Berlin Konzerthaus
Leipzig Gewandhaus Mendelssohn Bicentenary Festival
Stuttgart Orgel Sommerfest
Holland de Doelen Hall, Rotterdam
Italy Trigoso - Inaugural recital and second performance
Inaugural recital Catania Cathedral
Inaugural recital Basilica di San Giulio, Abbazia Mater Ecclesiae, Isola San Giulio (Orta)
Sestri Levante Inaugural Recital 2019
Piacenza International Organ Festival (2nd appearance)
Garbagna Festival (39th appearance at that venue)
Modena - inaugural recital (see YouTube video - Chiesa Gesu Redentore, Modena)
Zanano (Brescia) - inaugural recital
Novara, Basilica di San Gaudenzio (8th appearance)
Voghera - inaugural recital in the Duomo
Malaysia Handel Organ Concertos with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuala Lumpur
Monaco Third International Organ Festival
Norway Stavanger Concert Hall 2014 Celebrity Recital
In 2018 Jennifer also gave the opening recital in their famous Messiaen Complete Organ Works in a Day Festival, and lectured on her unique collaboration with the composer.
Romania Inaugural recital in the Concert Hall of the National Radio Bucharest
Russia St Petersburg - Mariinski Theatre first International Organ Festival
Slovenia Cankarjev Dom Cultural & Congress Centre, Ljubljana
Spain Leon International Organ Festival
Palau de la Musica, Barcelona
Gran Canaria - Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Las Palmas (3rd appearance)
Tenerife - Inaugural recital Auditorio de Tenerife, Santa Cruz
Sweden Studio Acusticum, Piteå

UK engagements have included a solo BBC Promenade Concert and Messiaen's Livre du Saint Sacrement in the South Bank Messiaen Festival (Westminster Cathedral). She has also given recitals, master classes and public lectures at Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol Universities. In 2014, Jennifer opened the first International Organ Series on the refurbished organ at the Royal Festival Hall.


DVD released January 2010

DVD - Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur, recorded live from Norwich Cathedral

"Jennifer Bate's playing is immaculate and controlled and she draws some wonderful sounds from the Norwich organ. The highest praise comes from Olivier Messiaen himself who endorsed the original film To have the imprimatur of the Master himself is recommendation enough."
Organists' Review May 2010
"Jennifer Bate's fastidious approach is enhanced by the vivid tonal colours she draws from the Norwich instrument this disc is an impressive tour de force."
Gramophone July 2010

Peter Dickinson - Complete Organ Works

Jennifer Bate - Peter Dickinson's Complete Organ Works

(Budget Price)

Naxos 8.572169

"Peter Dickinson couldn't have hoped for a more articulate or persuasive advocate of his solo organ works than Jennifer Bate"
Choir & Organ Sep/Oct 2009
"The Dickinson journey is traced here in supremely well articulated and strongly characterised performances by Jennifer Bate. recorded with maximum fidelity"
Gramophone July 2009
Jennifer Bate

World Première Recordings of the Complete Works of Mendelssohn

Jennifer Bate has recorded for the SOMM label the complete organ works of Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847). The five CDs comprise an incredible number of 68 pieces, from his first composition (aged 11) to his last thoughts. Among these are four fragments, which Jennifer completed in the composer's style. Many pieces are now recorded, published and performed for the first time, thanks to the research of Professor Christian Martin Schmidt, the acknowledged leading authority on Mendelssohn. The CDs were released in 2005-7 on SOMM 050-054 (mid price).

Jennifer Bate recorded on six important romantic organs: the early works on the classically-voiced (Walker) organ at Wimborne Minster and the remainder, which progress to more romantic voicing on the organs of The Temple Church (Harrison & Harrison), St Matthew's Bayswater (Walker) All Saints Margaret Street (Harrison & Harrison), St Stephen's Bournemouth (Hill) and St John's Upper Norwood (Lewis).

Jennifer's extensive research into the life and works of Mendelssohn was recently greatly assisted by Professor Schmidt, whose comprehensive study revealed many textural errors in previously-published scores. His new edition of Mendelssohn's organ works form three volumes of the nine new Breitkopf and Härtel Complete Mendelssohn edition.

Jennifer said about this colossal project "It was a life's ambition to record Mendelssohn's organ works and so exciting that the project coincided with new research and the discoveries now published in the new edition".

Volume I

"...Bate's scholarly approach and fastidious playing are reason enough ... to collect the complete set."
BBC Music Magazine, June 2005
"It goes without saying that her playing is hugely impressive and impeccably stylish ... "
Gramophone, July 2005
"Jennifer Bate has gained a justified reputation as one of the most important organists of our time ... consummate artistry ... sensitively played."
MusicWeb International, September 2005

Volume II

"As always, Bate's restrained playing offers impeccable clarity, much enlivened when the explosive Allegro of Sonata 6's Variation 4 allows her to click into virtuoso mode."
BBC Music Magazine, August 2005
"She takes a firm hand with the music but does not miss the poetry in it - especially with regard to phrasing - and the clarity of Mendelssohn's part-writing (especially in the contrapuntal pieces) benefits greatly therefrom. Her registration in the shorter pieces never interferes with the inherent flow of the music ..."
International Record Review, August 2005
(Sonata No 6) "Jennifer Bate sensitively brings its myriad possibilities to the listener's attention, with beautifully articulated phrasing and crystal clear control of textures."
MusicWeb International, September 2005
(Sonata No 2) "...abundant vitality, in which Jennifer Bate clearly revels."
MusicWeb International, September 2005

Volume III

Editor’s Choice, The Gramophone (Headline):

“Fluent and articulate, Jennifer Bate continues to do Mendelssohn proud.”
The Gramophone, April
“In this remarkable and comprehensive project .. [she] delivers performances which are fully in command of the material.”
International Record Review, March.

Volume IV

"As this project continues, its significance assumes greater importance... all will have to hear these records... admirers of this artist's playing will need no second bidding to aquire this disc. They will not be diappointed."
International Record Review July/August 2006

Volume V

"Jennifer Bate is a most compelling and persuasive advocate of Mendelssohn’s organ music in whatever shape or form it comes."
Gramophone February 2007
“… Jennifer Bate’s five-CD traversal of Mendelssohn’s complete organ music, the most noteworthy contribution to the composer’s discography to appear for years … remarkable and comprehensive project … very finely registered and performed.”
International Record Review January/February 2007.

The Wesleys and Their Contemporaries

The Wesleys and Their Contemporaries

(mid price)


"The poise and elegance of the playing will delight listeners if cause little surprise to collectors of Jennifer Bate's many recordings where such qualities may be found in abundance"
Organists' Review February 2005

Wesley Organ Music

Wesley Organ Music

(mid price)


Contents include:

Eight Variations in B Flat on God Save the King
Preludium, Arietta & Fuga in C minor ( dedicated to Adams )
Voluntary in D ( dedicated to Drummer )
Arrangement with Variation, of Rule Britannia
Three Variations in D on God Save the King

"A truly uplifting recording... beautifully mellow diapason tones, seductive flutes, mutations to die for and some striking reeds that blend deliciously. Jennifer Bate plays this charming music with wonderful playfulness and a superb clarity"
Choir & Organ - July 2004

"This is first-rate. A real and rare delight. Adjectives jostle for pride of place, your reviewer quite dumbstruck. Such a happy conjecture of repertoire, instrument and performer .... the virtuosity required never obtrudes; art beautifully conceals art throughout. And there's so much more:- suductively cantabile melodies, contrapuntal wizardry, 'galant' cheerfulness, even tongue-in-cheek humour.

Such a highly focussed CD has an important role to play in documentation of historic instruments and the musical literature written for them; if, as here, the mixture is also downright entertaining, we must rejoice alway."
Michael Bell, Organist's Review - August 2004

Stanley to Wesley

Stanley to WesleyRegis RRC 5002 (5 CD)

(budget price)

"...As a glorious celebration of the heritage of English Organ and Organ Music... This sumptuous collection cannot be bettered. Snap it up now if you missed it the first time"
Paul Hale
Editor (Organists Review, May 2003)

Messiaen Organ Works

(budget price)

Messiaen Organ WorksTreasure Island Music UKCD 600

"What a sound! ...A quite spectacular recording ( which ) carries the composer's imprimatur"
Penguin Guide
"Deeply committed performances…colourful playing makes first impressions that will turn listeners into pilgrims…Wonderfully majestic"

Olivier Messiaen

(full price)

Jade 74321 29890-2

Olivier Messiaen

Le Banquet Céleste and La Nativité du Seigneur

Franck - Complete Organ Works

(budget price)

Franck - Complete Organ WorksRegis RRC 2054 DDD Reissue
2 Discs

"This is surely how Franck should sound…"

SOUND *****

Adrian Jack
BBC Music Magazine October 2002

In the BBC Radio 3 programme Building a Library, broadcast on 9 January 2010, the recording of Franck’s Chorals on these CDs was chosen from those of 15 of the world’s leading organists as being the “finest” recording available.

Virtuoso French Organ Music

(budget price)

Regis RRC 1147

Virtuoso French Organ MusicRegis Records issued, at the end of July, Jennifer's spectacular recording made at Beauvais Cathedral, with extra material by Vierne and Langlais.

Their 2002 releases of her complete Messiaen and Franck recordings have received rave reviews. Similarly, her famous period instrument recordings "From Stanley to Wesley" are now again available to enormous acclaim.


(mid price)

Guild GMCD 7209

ReflectionsOrgan Music by Jennifer Bate played by the composer on the organ of the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.

Despite her busy schedule, Jennifer has always been interested in composing, and frequently has been commissioned to write for special instruments or particular occasions. Recorded on one of the finest British concert hall organs, this collection ranges from the spectacular full organ to the most delicate romantic pieces.

Peter Dickinson

Peter Dickinson

Heritage HTGCD 276

Organ Concerto with BBC Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Atherton.

Liszt and Schumann

Sanctuary Records CD RSN 3077

(budget price)

Liszt and Schumann

Jennifer Bate - Organ of the Royal Albert Hall

Jennifer Bate: incredible playing at the Albert Hall... ( Liszt's 3 masterly works ) "the range is wide and does justice to Jennifer Bate's incredible playing. She shows intimate knowledge of the Albert Hall organ's resources, finding delicate effects to counterbalance the blazing furnace of sound that closes the Fantasia and Fugue"
Daily Telegraph

for Internet users

Whitlock Organ Music


Jennifer Bate - Organ.

"Jennifer Bate's lyrical approach and sensitive registration is a constant delight, and it is a pleasure to hear the right music on the right instrument in the right hands."
The Organ - August 1999

Plymouth Suite (1937) played on the organ of St Andrew's Parish Church, Plymouth.

Five Short Pieces (1929), Four Extemporisations (1933) and Seven Sketches on Verses of the Psalms (1934) played on the organ of The Bragwyn Hall, Swansea.

ASV Quicksilva CD QS 6233. Music published by OUP.

Click on the CD cover to hear a sample of "Folk Tune" from "Five Short Pieces" (1929).
(Presented as a RealAudio format clip.)

Available at budget price (+ p&p)

Elgar and his contemporaries: British Organ Music


Jennifer Bate - Organ

Including works by Walford Davies, Vaughan Williams and Elgar

Available at budget price (+ p&p)

Stanford and his contemporaries: British Organ Music

Jennifer Bate (organ). Including works by Parry, Whitlock, Gordon Jacob and C.V. Stanford.

Stanford CD Cover
"Taut control...but there is plenty of fire and heart."
Daily Telegraph, August 1998
Budget CD Choice - Daily Telegraph, August 1998
March's Choice - Gramophone Awards, Issue 1998
"...towering performances..."
Organists' Review, 1999

All Jennifer Bate's royalties from this recording (and Vol.1: Elgar and his Contemporaries - ASV QS 6160) will be donated to the St. James's Church Organ Appeal, which was launched Spring 1999.

Click on the CD cover to hear the opening of the Toccata from Stanford's Fantasia and Toccata Op. 57
(Presented as a RealAudio format clip.)

Available at budget price (+ p&p)

Vivaldi Double and Triple Concertos

Vivaldi Double and Triple Concertos

Vivaldi Double and Triple Concertos Jennifer Bate (organ), Sarah Francis (oboe), Richard Studt (violin/director), Paul Nicholson (continuo) and the Tate Music Group. Available in signed copies at budget price (+ p&p).

Click on the CD cover to hear part of the Concerto in C minor (RV 766) - track 15 from the CD.
(Presented as a RealAudio format clip.)

You can order by post, phone or fax from Les Aldrich. Most major credit cards accepted.

Les Aldrich

Make out your cheque to Les Aldrich (with your address on the back please), or give your full credit card details including expiry date. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

Jennifer Bate and Olivier Messiaen

"Jennifer Bate may claim honours as THE Messiaen player of this generation" (Fanfare, USA). Their special rapport was established at the first meeting in 1975, when he wrote:

"Jennifer Bate is an excellent organist, not only for her virtuosity, but for her musicianship and sensitivity in choosing her timbres. She is a really accomplished musician who loves what she plays and knows how to make others love it too." Olivia Messiaen

As part of the "VISIONS - The Music of OLIVIER MESSIAEN" weekend, 15-17 January 1999, there were 3 screenings of the LWT South Bank Show (1985) where Jennifer was performer and artistic advisor.

Jennifer is much in demand for masterclasses and lectures on the organ works of Messiaen. Her extensive experience of working closely with the composer gives her unique authority as an exponent of his music. During her recent study day at Cambridge University, she gave an illustrated lecture on the Livre du St Sacrement and a public masterclass for advanced students of the university. She also gave a full day of masterclasses at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, for the Music Faculty.

During the 2008 Centenary celebrations of Messiaen's birth, Jennifer gave Festival performances at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Westminster Cathedral, Avignon (where Messiaen was born), Piacenza, the Dortmund Konzerthaus and a solo BBC Promenade Concert at the Royal Albert Hall as well as many talks and lectures on the man and his music.


Many composers have written for her. Recent commissions include Peter Dickinson's "Blue Rose Variations", demonstrating her phenomenal manual and pedal technique. It was premièred in New York and later filmed in live concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

William Mathias composed "Fenestra", inspired by her use of colour, and Naji Hakim wrote his "Sinfonia" with her virtuosity in mind.


Jennifer Bate has given many lecture/recitals, tracing the history of music. Where no appropriate instrument is available, lectures are given with taped musical examples.


Jennifer Bate's lectures on the 18th and 19th centuries are frequently illuminated by the writings of Dr. Charles Burney, whose opinion is admired to this day. During his tours of Europe, he made a fascinating account of instruments, music and musicians. The lecture is illustrated with copious musical examples, many on period instruments.

"Anecdotal episodes were varied and often comical. These were delivered with perfect enunciation, tone colour and great charm ... full of interest. It was artistically enlightening and greatly appreciated"
(King's Lynn Festival) Eastern Daily Press

Three Centuries of the Organ in England

This lecture is illustrated with sound and overhead projection

Mendelssohn in England

The Organ Works of Olivier Messiaen

Jennifer Bate enjoys a unique reputation as the world authority and his organist of choice. She has a series of lectures on Messiaen's Organ Works. With over 17 years of close artistic association with him, her scores contain the composer's personal nuances of interpretation.

Her lecture on "Livre du Saint Sacrement" was prepared with Messiaen's advice and was approved by him. This gives a profound and exclusive insight into his most complex work for the organ.

A Funny Thing Happened...

A selection of hillarious episodes in and out of the organ loft.


Dr Bate enjoys working with young people and has pioneered new ways of introducing the organ and its repertoire to children. She is in great demand from all age groups for her "Young Person's Guide to the King of Instruments" - in a virtuoso demonstration of the organ revealing its awesome and enthralling power.

Dr Bate's educational work includes Masterclasses at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. She offers a varied series of projects for all ages, an example of which was the Millennium Organ Project, based in the North-West. This involved concertos with the Lancashire Youth Orchestras, competitions for schools, masterclasses and demonstration recitals. These events involved between 3,000-4,000 people. More recently, she has been heavily involved in a project for schools in Shropshire.

The Annual Jennifer Bate Organ Academy This is a unique course for young female organists, which is now approaching its 16th year. In a recent interview, Jennifer described it thus:

"My design for this course is about the 'all-round musician'. We offer a concentrated experience of many disciplines that organists might meet in the course of their career, including not only solo repertoire of all periods, but also harpsichord continuo, improvisation and much more. We do this with a team of the finest tutors on each subject.

No two participants present the same repertoire in any of the classes, so there is no element of competition. Everyone works together and is taught to co-operate in every discipline. We welcome every level, from beginner to the most advanced.

We usually open the course with a full Evensong, which the girls learn during an hour's rehearsal. We also have a special choral day with a semi-professional choir. Everyone has to sing, conduct and accompany. First class service accompaniment is included as an important subject on the course.

Another special feature is our concerto day. Everyone has a solo movement of an 18th/early 19th century work to prepare in advance. They learn this in the correct style, how to run a rehearsal and conduct the orchestra (which has a solid professional core), from the keyboard. As many candidates also play orchestral instruments, (which they are encouraged to bring), they benefit from additional opportunities sitting next to great players. Since the JBOA incorporates harmony, figured bass and harpsichord training, this concerto day offers a splendid chance to put all these elements together."


The Society of Women Organists was launched recently with Jennifer as their lead Patron.

Organ Consultancy

Jennifer Bate is frequently an organ consultant on new instruments and organs being rebuilt. She was consultant to the restoration of the famous Harrison & Harrison organ at St. James' Church, Muswell Hill, London.

Television Appearances

In her capacity as a world authority on Messiaen, she was both consultant and performer on the South Bank Show about him. Channel Four televised her magnificent performance of "Livre du Saint Sacrement" from Westminster Cathedral and "La Nativité" from Norwich Cathedral.

More recently, Italian TV made a profile programme and televised her recital at Pisa Cathedral, and her programme in St. Michael's Cathedral Barbados was networked throughout the Caribbean.


Jennifer is represented by Mark Stephan Buhl Artists Management
Geylinggasse 1
1130 Wien. Austria
Tel: +43 1 524 7675. Fax: +43 1 526 3095
Skype: markmsbuhl. E-mail:

and Künstleragentur Dr. Raab & Dr Böhm.
Paniglgasse 18-20 / Top 14 / 1040 Wien, Austria.
Tel: +43-1-512 05 01. Fax: +43-1-512 77 43

and Soler, Lluis & Porta Artists S.L.
Moià n.1, 2a Planta
08006 Barcelona Spain
Tel: +34 93 217 5228
Fax: +34 93 414 7036

UK Contacts:


Katie Beardsworth
191 Ella Street Hull HU5 3AT

07585 806825

Further Information: Andrew Roberts,
35 Collingwood Avenue, Muswell Hill, London N10-3EH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8883 3811 Fax: +44 (0)20 8444 3695

E-mail (without attachments):

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