Digital booklet:  View · Download

Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields

15 historic organs in the Ballarat region can be heard on this CD released to coincide with the 2005 festival. There is a fully illustrated 16 page booklet which surveys the organ builders, churches and their organs, the music, and the performers.

Visiting Ballarat in late 1995, Italian organist, Sergio de Pieri, discovered that within the heritage churches of the goldfields were many beautiful pipe organs, several built by George Fincham, others imported from England or with origin unknown. Some were treasured and kept in good repair, their mechanical action and their beautifully stenciled façade pipes retained. Others were unused, sometimes in disused buildings and occupied by borers or a possum or two.

Sergio de Pieri immediately created a festival, the Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields, ten days of classical music throughout the goldfields each January, having as its central theme the bringing to life of the heritage instruments but also bringing many highly regarded singers, instrumentalists and chamber groups to the region in a wide-ranging classical music program.

This CD celebrates the festival's tenth year. You will hear a great variety of music played on 15 of the Ballarat region's organs. The festival has brought music to many people who flock to the festival each year, enjoying not only the music but the exploration of heritage buildings in the beautiful countryside, the shared picnics and pasta and the discovery of beautiful, heritage instruments.

There is a fully illustrated 16 page booklet which surveys the organ builders, churches and their organs, the music, and the performers.

Performers include Laura Cantagalli, Rosalie Bonighton, Ryoko Mori, Rhys Boak, John O'Donnell, and Sergio de Pieri.


Sergio de Pieri

Born in Treviso, Italy, well-known organist Sergio de Pieri emigrated to Australia in the 1960s and was chiefly responsible for reviving local interest in the organ and its true repertoire. He was organist at the Basilica of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, Chief Study Organ Lecturer at the University of Melbourne and still regularly performs throughout Australia, Europe, USA and Canada.

John O'Donnell

Currently Director of Ensemble Gombert John O'Donnell studied at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney and the University of Durham. Since performing the complete organ works of Bach in 1974 he has enjoyed an international reputation as an organist and harpsichordist.

Rhys Boak

Rhys Boak is one of Australia's busiest organists. He is in constant demand locally and internationally as both a recitalist and accompanist. He is currently the organist and manager of music at St. Michael's Church, Melbourne.

Ryoko Mori

Ryoko Mori was born in Tokyo, Japan. From an early age she studied piano and soon developed an interest in the organ. She studied organ at Ferris University, and the Tokyo University of Fine Arts. She also completed further studies at Baylor University, in Dallas, Texas.

Rosalie Bonighton

Rosalie Bonighton was employed as a 'house composer' by music publishers Kevin Mayhew, Ltd (UK), and had an extensive list of publications with them. She was also the organist of St. John's Anglican Church, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat.

Laura Cantagalli

Laura Cantagalli was born in Florence and studied music at the Venice Conservatoire including organ studies with Sergio de Pieri. She completed further studies at the Geneva Conservatoire, organ with Lionel Rogg and vocal studies. Laura is now organist at the Eglise Reformee de Courtelarty, one of the rare churches that has two organs the same size.

Press quote

“...the entire project has been put together with such loving attention to detail and such devotion to an important part of Australia's musical heritage, that what emerges is a peculiar little gem ...

While the performance standards are uniformly high, the real stars, and equal villains, are the 15 Ballarat organs themselves...

If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself back three or four generations, listening to music making the way Australia's earlier generations experienced it - on small church instruments played by musicians with evangelical fervour.”

— Martin Buzacott, Limelight

Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. Scherzo in G minor Marco Enrico Bossi 7:08
  2. Canzonetta Dietrich Buxtehude 1:56
  3. Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 Johann Sebastian Bach 6:12
  4. Toccata No. 3 Georg Muffat 5:14
  5. Chant de Paix Jean Langlais 3:36
  6. Fugue in C minor Felix Mendelssohn 4:16
  7. Sonata No. 6 Andante Felix Mendelssohn 2:11
  8. Chorale Prelude "Aus Meine Herzens Grunde" Sigfrid Karg-Elert 2:00
  9. Chorale Prelude "Liebster Jesu" Sigfrid Karg-Elert 1:15
  10. Toccata on "Puer Nobis" Rosalie Bonighton 2:11
  11. "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho" Rosalie Bonighton 2:07
  12. Sonata No. 8 Intermezzo Josef Gabriel Rheinberger 4:02
  13. Intermezzo Op. 98: II Josef Gabriel Rheinberger 4:50
  14. Sonata in C minor Andante Giovanni Battista Pescetti 4:03
  15. Canon No. 5 in G minor Robert Schumann 3:01
  16. Esquisse No. 1 in C major, Op. 58 Robert Schumann 2:38
  17. Chorale No. 2 in B minor César Franck 12:45



Marco Enrico Bossi

Marco Enrico Bossi was an Italian organist, composer, improviser and pedagogue. Bossi was born in Salò, a town in the province of Brescia, Lombardy, into a family of musicians.

Dietrich Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude was a German-Danish organist and composer of the Baroque period. His organ works represent a central part of the standard organ repertoire and are frequently performed at recitals and in church services.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.

Felix Mendelssohn

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano music and chamber music.

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era.

Where to buy

Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Total playing time
69 minutes 25 seconds
Release date
© 2005 Move Records
℗ 2005 Move Records
Classical, Organ
Catalogue number
MD 3294
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574329421