'The organ could not have a more dedicated or capable ambassador than Lapwood'
Anna Lapwood is an organist, conductor, and broadcaster. She is Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and in 2022 she was appointed Associate Artist of the Royal Albert Hall and Artist in Association with the BBC Singers.
While studying at Oxford University, Anna became the first female in Magdalen College’s 560-year history to be awarded the Organ Scholarship. Now performing organ concertos with leading orchestras and multiple recitals each season across Europe, Anna’s debut solo album ‘Images’ was released on Signum Records in 2021. The recording includes her transcription for organ of Britten’s ‘Four Sea Interludes’ from “Peter Grimes” (published by Boosey & Hawkes). In 2022 Stainer & Bell published a new anthology of organ pieces by female composers ‘Gregoriana’, commissioned and edited by Anna. Also in 2022, two new albums featuring the Pembroke Choirs will be released on Signum Records.
In 2021 Anna made her BBC Proms debut at as soloist in Saint-Saëns’ ‘Organ Symphony’ with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by their Music Director, Sir Mark Elder, repeating the work later that month with conductor Kazuki Yamada and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Other recent performances include a concert with the BBC Singers for International Women’s Day 2022 broadcast live on Radio 3; George Baker’s Toccata-Gigue for Classic FM from the Royal Albert Hall; an organ recital at St David's Hall, Cardiff for BBC Radio 3, and a performance of Poulenc’s ‘Organ Concerto’ with the London Chamber Orchestra. In 2019 Anna opened the BAFTA TV awards on the organ of the Royal Festival Hall. Anna performs two organ recitals at the Aldeburgh Festival 2022 following her annual 24-hour Bach-a-thon from Pembroke College which raises money for Muze-Pembroke Music Exchange Programme.
Having made her TV presenting debut hosting coverage of BBC Young Musician, Anna was also invited to present a televised Prom from the Royal Albert Hall. In 2022 she served as an adjudicator for the Welsh choral competition, Côr Cymru, on S4C alongside Karen Gibson and Wyn Davies. As a radio broadcaster she is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and until July 2020 she hosted a live, weekly classical music show on Radio Cambridgeshire. Anna has also been featured on Classic FM and presented for Scala Radio.
A strong advocate for music education at home and abroad, she specialises in bringing music to children from impoverished backgrounds. She is a Trustee of the Muze Trust, a charity committed to making music accessible to children and young adults in Zambia. When the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to much of Anna's work in this area overseas she focussed her efforts on founding and conducting the NHS Chorus-19, made up of over 1000 NHS staff from across the UK.
Anna is humbled to find that she is an inspiration to many young women and proud that they have adopted her hashtag, #playlikeagirl. Anna’s passion for the organ is matched by her mission to support girls and women in music. Her commitment to opportunity, equality and diversity is evident in almost every aspect of her life and work, especially in programming.