Joseph Nolan

British-Australian organist and choral conductor Dr Joseph Nolan has been hailed by ABC Classic FM as ‘an extraordinary musician’, by BBC Radio 3 Record Review as ‘Magnificent’, by Limelight Magazine as ‘a Colossus’ and by Gramophone as ‘perceptive and intensely musical’.

Twice nominated for Artist of the Year in 2016 and 2018, Limelight Magazine has also awarded Joseph its coveted ‘Recording of the Month’ for his ninth disc for Signum Records from St Etienne du Mont, Paris, the church and organ of Maurice Duruflé. This is the first time in the history of the magazine that an organ disc has been awarded this distinction. Limelight Magazine have also recently awarded Joseph an unprecedented third Editor’s Choice for his tenth disc for Signum Records from St Bavo Haarlem.

Joseph’s career has also recently been the subject of substantial interviews on Radio National (Australia) and in Gramophone, Choir and Organ, The Organ Magazine and The Australian Newspaper.

Joseph studied at the Royal College of Music, London, winning the Canon Bark Prize for most promising organ student, and was awarded First Class Honours for his final recital at the Temple Church, London. Scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust, Hattori Foundation and the Royal Philharmonic Society supported his advanced studies with legendary organists Marie-Claire Alain in Paris and Dame Gillian Weir in London.

Appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace, in 2004, Joseph performed on numerous occasions at Buckingham Palace, most notably giving the opening concert of the refurbished Grand Ballroom organ to a distinguished audience.

Joseph has played in concerts across the globe and made his solo debut at Sydney Opera House in the 2017 Sydney Symphony Orchestra Season to great critical acclaim. July 2019 will see Joseph return to Sydney Opera House, making his debut as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under their chief conductor, David Robertson. Nolan has also performed as a concerto soloist with The Malaysian Symphony Orchestra at Petronas Concert Hall, Kuala Lumpur, and with The West Australian Symphony Orchestra at Perth Concert Hall.

Dr Nolan’s interpretations of the complete works of Charles-Marie Widor for Signum Records — winners of Gramophone’s 2017 ‘Label of the Year’ award — have firmly cemented his international reputation, with both Gramophone and The Australian describing the discs as ‘utterly authoritative’, Music Web International as ‘The Widor cycle of the decade’, BBC Music Magazine as ‘swashbuckling’, and Limelight Magazine as ‘Monumental’.

The Nolan/Signum Widor cycle features the finest Cavaillé-Coll organs in France including those of La Madeleine, Paris; St Sernin, Toulouse; and St François de Sales, Lyon. The discs have been awarded multiple five-star reviews and ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards in BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone and Limelight Magazine. They have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and ABC Classic FM amongst many others.

Very notably, Gramophone magazine awarded the final disc in the Widor Cycle a ‘Critic’s Choice’ for 2017. Gramophone recently hailed Joseph’s tenth disc from St Bavo Haarlem for Signum as a ‘wonderful accomplishment’ with the recording immediately enter the Classical charts, a unique achievement for a disc of organ music. BBC Radio 3’s Record Review programme hailed Joseph’s playing on the disc as ‘miraculous and extraordinary’ and Musicweb International awarded the disk as a Recording of the Year 2018 declaring it as ‘possibly the organ disc of the decade’

Dr Nolan was invited to take up the position of Organist and Master of Music at St George’s Cathedral, Perth, Western Australia in 2008. Under Joseph’s leadership the Cathedral music programme has been described as ‘elite’ and ‘world class’ in The Australian and The West Australian newspapers. The Cathedral choirs have regularly performed for ABC Classic FM whilst the Cathedral Consort has performed with The Hilliard Ensemble, The Academy of Ancient Music and The King’s Singers.

Joseph has also collaborated in concert with some of the world’s finest trumpeters, including Alison Balsom, Crispian Steele-Perkins and David Elton, Principal Trumpet of The London Symphony Orchestra.

Dr Joseph Nolan was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for services to French music in 2016 and became an Honorary Fellow of the University of Western Australia in 2013. The University awarded Joseph its prestigious higher doctorate, the Doctor of Letters, in 2018.

  • The fifth volume in our series of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaille-Coll organs of La Madeleine, Paris and Saint-Sernin, Toulouse. Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain – his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence.
    ★★★★★ Nolan transcends Widor's scores, truly revelling in the Gothic beauty of this music and the grandiose instruments of the belle époque - Choir & Organ Joseph Nolan proves himself an excellent Widor interpreterMusicWeb International
  • Joseph Nolan follows his five internationally acclaimed volumes of the Complete Organ Symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor with a collection of the composer’s other works for solo organ. The disc includes his Trois Nouvelles Pieces, March Amèricaine and Marche Nuptiale and Memento – a collection of transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach. This release completes a collection of 6 CDs that span Widor’s complete solo organ works, performed by Nolan on period Cavaillé-Coll organs from the French churches of St Sernin, Toulouse, St. François-de Sales, Lyon and La Madeleine, Paris. In April 2016, Joseph Nolan was made a Chevalier (Knight) in the Order of French Arts and Letters for his services to French Music. This recording is a must for all organ devotees and especially Widor fansMusicWeb International Joseph Nolan follows his five acclaimed volumes of the complete organ symphonies of Charles-Marie Widor with a collection of the composer’s other works for solo organNorthern Echo
  • The complete 8 CD boxset of Widor's Complete Organ Works, played by Joseph Nolan.                         SKU: SIGCD596
  • With a title inspired by Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ (the opening scenes of which were filmed on the church steps), ‘Midnight at St Etienne du Mont’ explores the music of Duruflé, who was Titular Organist there from 1929 until his death in 1986. As well as Duruflé’s own Suite Op. 5, at the centre of the programme is the premiere recording of David Briggs’ Le Tombeau de Duruflé – a brilliant work built on plainsong themes that Duruflé so loved himself. British-Australian organist and choral conductor Joseph Nolan has been hailed by ABC Classic FM as “an extraordinary musician”, BBC Radio 3 CD Review as a “virtuoso”, and Limelight Magazine, Australia as a “remarkable musician”. In 2016 he was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government for services to French music. ★★★★★ A recording much to be prized as much for its intelligent planning and unusual repertoire as for the musicianship Joseph Nolan displays throughout - The Organ ★★★★ The entire programme is well chosen, expertly played, on an appropriate instrument, and recorded in good quality sound. It deserves to be heard by a wide audience and this 4* release is certainly in the running for our Collector’s Choice award next month - iClassical Certainly a significant release! - Cathedral Music Magazine It is easy to imagine being shut into the church through the night luxuriating in this evocative musicLark A brilliant work built on plainsong themes that Durufle so loved himself - Northern Echo
  • 2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the first release from the leading independent classical label Signum Records. Beginning life as an early music specialist (with a landmark release of the Complete Works of Thomas Tallis with Chapelle du Roi), Signum has grown since 1997 to a catalogue of over 300 releases across a wide range of genres. The organ collection combines works by world class performers (including Simon Preston, David Goode, Jeremy Filsell, Naji Hakim, Joseph Nolan and more) recorded on organs from Freiberg, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey & Cathedral, the Royal Albert Hall and more - all selected from titles across the Signum catalogue.
    A sampler ranging from the boxy organ of Buckingham Palace to the magnificent instruments of Freiberg and Rouen; nearly as many players, too, and repertoire from Bach to LanglaisBBC Music Magazine Among the plentiful gems here, David Goode's Messiaen in Eton, Samuel Wesley's Choral Song courtesy of James Vivian in London's Temple Church, and Robert Quinney's haunting performance of 'Nimrod' in Westminster Abbey especially stand outChoir & Organ
  • The Organ of Saint Sulpice, Paris, is widely considered to be a prime example of the pinnacle of 19th-Century French organ building. Joseph Nolan expertly demonstrates the full capabilities of this mighty organ with this programme of Romantic organ music, performing favourite works by Boëllmann, Elgar, Liszt and Thalben-Ball. Joseph Nolan’s approach to Boëllmann’s Suite Gothique is monumental and impressive … [he] may have moved to Australia but his concert calendar and recordings like this help to keep us all in touch with a very fine performer - The Organ Magazine
    These performances are full of spontaneity yet for all Nolan’s brilliance he allows the requirements of the composer always to take priority. The sympathy and expression that Nolan gives to this music and the assurance of his results will undoubtedly give this recital a special place amongst organ collectorsMusicWeb International A brilliantly played Romantic recital on an oft-recorded organ … The Poema floats exquisitely and atmosphericallyThe Gramophone
  • Joseph Nolan marks his 10th release on Signum Classics with a recording on the remarkable 1738 Christian Muller organ of St Bavo in the Dutch city of Haarlem. Housed in one of the most spectacular organ cases in the world, the instrument's renowned clarity of tone makes it perfectly suited to Reubke's Sonata on the 94th Psalm, which forms the heart Nolan's programme alongside works by Bach, Buxtehude and Mendelssohn.

    British-Australian organist and choral conductor Dr Joseph Nolan has been hailed by ABC Classic FM as ‘an extraordinary musician’, by BBC Radio 3 Record Review as ‘Magnificent’ and by Gramophone as ‘perceptive and intensely musical’. A nominee for Artist of the Year, Limelight Magazine also awarded Joseph its coveted ‘Recording of the Month’ for his ninth disc for Signum Records from St Etienne du Mont, Paris (SIGCD470), the church and organ of Maurice Duruflé – the first time in the history of the magazine that an organ disc has been awarded this distinction.

    ★ Reubke's Sonata on the 94th Psalm rings out here with robust brilliance - Choir and Organ A wonderful accomplishment - Gramophone This could well prove to be the organ disc of the decade Music Web International
  • Following the success of Joseph Nolan’s appearance in Music for the Coronation of James II (SIGCD094), he returns to Signum with a solo disc of organ music, capturing music from some of the finest composers of the instrument. With J.S. Bach’s famous Passacaglia in C Minor to Noel Rawsthorne’s Dance Suite, (with inspiration from Michael Flatley’sLord of the Dance) this disc certainly pushes the boundaries of organ music. Fresh from a tour of the USA in 2007, Nolan has found international recognition as well as his commitments as organist at Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal where he was appointed in 2004. A debut disc of a player demonstrating considerable musical and technical assurance, we should look forward to his next releaseOrganist's Review

  • Volume 1 in a new collection of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ of L'église de la Madeleine, Paris. Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain - his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence. Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, acclaimed as ‘brilliant and such an astute musician’ (Gramophone UK). He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues - including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom (SIGCD114) and the Organ of Saint-Sulpice in Paris (SIGCD167). The Cavaillé-Coll Organ of La Madeleine, Paris is a similarly renowned instrument, with former chief-organists including Camille Saint-Säens and Gabriel Fauré.
    This looks like shaping up to be the Widor Organ Symphonies cycle of the decadeMusicWeb International

    Nolan’s interpretations are musically first-class ... organ enthusiasts should certainly acquire this disc for the sake of Nolan’s admirable musical intelligenceInternational Record Review

    Nolan hovers over all like some musical demiurge, fleet of feet and fingers as he negotiates the massive chords and filigree passagework of faster movements such as the closing Vivace of Symphony No 6; thoughtful and sensitive yet smouldering with creative tension in slower movements - Limelight Magazine Gothic music meets Gothic organ here in performances that encompass a broad expressive spectrum from quiet meditation to dramatic thunder and lightningThe Times
  • Volume 2 in a new collection of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ of L’église de la Madeleine, Paris.

    Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain - his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence.

    Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, acclaimed as ‘brilliant and such an astute musician’ (Gramophone UK). He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues – including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom (SIGCD114) and the Organ of Saint-Sulpice in Paris (SIGCD167). The Cavaillé-Coll Organ of La Madeleine, Paris is a similarly renowned instrument, with former chief-organists including Camille Saint-Säens and Gabriel Fauré.

    The recording clarity is remarkable, only final chords revealing that we have been enjoying the fruits of some six seconds of reverberation. Joseph Nolan … is an utterly persuasive executant at the console. Thoroughly enjoyableOrganists Review Just consider the wonderful contrast as Joseph Nolan moves from the gentle, floating phrases of the Allegretto to the skittish playfulness and power of the Intermezzo. The Marche pontificale (like the Toccata from the 5th symphony) is certainly more familiar and here given a rousing, full-blooded romp which fires the bloodLark Reviews This looks like shaping up to be the Widor Organ Symphonies cycle of the decadeMusicWeb International
  • The third volume in our series of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ of L’église de la Madeleine, Paris. Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain - his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence

    Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, acclaimed as ‘brilliant and such an astute musician’ (Gramophone UK). He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues – including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom and the Organ of Saint- Sulpice in Paris.

    Gothic music meets Gothic organ here in performances that encompass a broad expressive spectrum from quiet meditation to dramatic thunder and lightningThe Times

    This looks like shaping up to be the Widor Organ Symphonies cycle of the decadeMusicWeb International This is proving to be a highly impressive series, and one which you can return to with confidence, knowing that the performances will come up fresh on each hearingLark Reviews
  • The fourth volume in our series of Charles-Marie Widor’s Organ Symphonies, performed by Joseph Nolan on the magnificent Cavaillé-Coll organ of L’église de la Madeleine, Paris. Bridging the generations from Mendelssohn to Messiaen, Empire to Republic, Widor was born to the organ. His Lyonnaise kinsfolk were organ-builders, he showed early talent for the instrument, and for decades was the embodiment of its might and splendour across the Gallic domain – his ‘Organ Symphonies’ were genre-defining in their influence

    Joseph Nolan is an internationally renowned organist, acclaimed as ‘brilliant and such an astute musician’ (Gramophone UK). He was appointed to Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace in 2004, and has since been invited to perform and record in some of the world’s premiere venues – including the refurbished Organ of Buckingham Palace Ballroom (SIGCD114) and the Organ of Saint- Sulpice in Paris (SIGCD167).

    Recordings of the Year 2014: Joseph Nolan’s cycle of the Widor organ symphonies has certainly been a continuing highlight in the past couple of years, blowing away some of the cobwebs of tradition with a completely individual and often remarkably revealing attitude to tempi. Performer, instrument and recording achieve superlative synergy in every volumeMusicWeb International The latest volume in Joseph Nolan's swirling, swashbuckling Widor series showcases the tangy palette and earthy roar of the fabulous Cavaille-Coll organ at La Madeleine, Paris. In a word - glorious!BBC Music Magazine Those who have been following the series will know by now what to expect and need have no reservations about adding Volume 4  to their collection, and both Nolan and Signum can only be commended for their continued commitmentInternational Record Review