The Cathedral organ was built by Matthew Copley Organ Design of Kingston-upon-Thames and finished in 2007. It has three manuals, five divisions, 63 speaking stops and two consoles: one in the West gallery and one movable console for use with the Cathedral Choir and in recitals, where the player will be visible to the audience.
Simon Niemiński was born in London and descended from an unlikely mixture of Edwardian Japanese acrobats, Lancastrian Music Hall artistes and a Polish army veteran. He studied at the Royal College of Music, at Cambridge University and as Organ Scholar of York Minster. He is currently Organist of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh, having previously been Organist and Master of the Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh, where he directed the choir in daily choral services, concerts, recordings and broadcasts.
His work takes him around the UK and abroad. Over the airwaves, he has featured in programmes including The Organist Entertains on BBC Radio 2, Choral Evensong on Radio 3, and Pipedreams in the USA. As a recitalist, his programmes often include unusual but attractive repertoire and it has become his aim to play programmes which appeal to organ buffs and sceptics alike. His CD recordings have helped to revive the music of unjustly neglected composers, with releases on the Pro Organo label of the Promenades en Provence by Eugène Reuchsel and the symphonies of Edward Shippen Barnes – American pupil of Louis Vierne. Reviews have included: “This is a splendid release… There is a lot of poetry here.” (The American Record Guide) and “Simon Nieminski’s playing is utterly convincing and at one stroke establishes him as a recording artist of the first rank.” (Organists’ Review.)
An interest in transcriptions has resulted in recordings of works inspired by Shakespeare, and another of Elgar, including the complete Enigma Variations (“Romantic organ playing at its best”: The Organ.)
A CD by Simon on the 2007 organ of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral was reviewed as a Star Recording in The Organ magazine (“…a triumph for both organ and organist…”) His most recent CD is of the new organ at First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas. Simon can be found online at www.nieminski.com.