World Class Improviser
Having studied improvisation with David Briggs and Naji Hakim, Anthony is also one of the world’s leading authorities on the improvisation techniques of one of the 20th century’s greatest organ performers, the legendary Pierre Cochereau. Himself known for flamboyant, captivating improvisation, it is little wonder, with influences such as these, that Anthony Hammond now shares the joy of improvisation with audiences around the world.
Anthony’s renowned improvisations have captivated audiences with their variety and relatability to a wide array of audiences. Improvisations can revolve around a hymn, a text, a theme, an event, or any bit of music submitted by the audience on the spot!
Check out some of Anthony’s most recent and most loved improvisations:
“There is immense artistic diversity in the life of Malmesbury Abbey, but Anthony Hammond’s breathtaking organ improvisations took us to a new and profoundly moving place, and deepened the devotional life of our community during Holy Week. Working with the actor Jason Durr reading the poetic texts of the Staions of the Cross, Anthony employed the full limits of the organ’s capabilities to paint the moods and character of each scene and to depict vivid narrative, from the noise of the crowd to stopping of Christ’s heartbeat. An astounding musician and a gifted communicator.”
(Revd Neill Archer, Vicar, Malmesbury Abbey)
“The highlight of the evening was the improvisation. We didn’t know quite what to expect but were absolutely amazed at the mastery with which Anthony handled the two themes.”
(Mike Donkin, Director of Music – Oswestry Parish Church)
“Without doubt the crowning point of the evening was the improvised symphony. The themes were quite disparate, and on first sight I am sure did not lend themselves to easy integration. As a matter of interest I brought along a friend who has taught piano to diploma students for many years, but has organ as his second instrument. After the improvisation he was much reminded of the time in the ’50s when he heard Marcel Dupré improvise at the Albert Hall – and even after all these years that event is still clear in his mind.”
(Alf Fortnam, Secretary – Wiltshire and Bath Organists Association)