Discovering the organs for my recitals through some personal recommendation has been probably the most frequently utilized method for me. But not the only one.
So how do you find possible places for your organ recital?
If you can play the organ in public and have done so in the past, chances are you are aware of some instruments in your area or in another country where you would like to play next, right?
It would be strange if you didn't because just about every organist I know has some sense of curiosity about all the different and wonderful organs that are out there. Those who aren't curious, don't consider themselves organists anyway.
But of course some organs are very famous in the organ world and only organists at certain level of status get invited to play them.
Like Washington National Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral in London, Mormon Tabernacle, or Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris...
But there are tenths of thousands of lesser known organs that are nonetheless worth playing. One of the best ways to find them today is through social media.
Organists post photos of the organ they played recently on Facebook or other sites all the time. But what do you usually do when you see a beautiful photo like that? Normally organists like this photo, perhaps comment on it or share it. That's it. That's about all they do.
But what if you made a note in your notebook about this organ and perhaps wrote in a contact information of the person in charge of the musical life in that venue? Would that get you more awareness of where you could play next?
Or when you come across an organ video on YouTube that you would like to play, could you google some information about this place and organ, maybe go to the website of the church and find contact information of the organist or music director?
Or when some organist contacts you on Facebook and LinkedIn to include them in your network, could you find more about this person and the place that they usually play?
Of course you could.
So here's what I recommend:
Every time you find an interesting organ, put it in your Organs I Want To Play List. On that spreadsheet document write in the country, town, venue, size of the organ, date it was built, style of the action, link to the specification online and perhaps contact information of the person in charge.
If you do this regularly very soon you will have a huge database of your favorite recital destinations in the world.
Let me know if you need help with anything or feel stuck.