Page last updated at 23:20 GMT, Wednesday, 21 May 2008 00:20 UK

Museum organist marks 50 years

Gordon Frier
Gordon Frier is celebrating 50 years of recitals at Kelvingrove

An organist is celebrating 50 years of playing recitals at Scotland's most popular visitor attraction.

Gordon Frier has been performing for visitors to the Kelvingrove museum since 1958 and is due to play his 632nd recital on Thursday.

He admitted to being "frightened" early in his career by the massive organ and the Kelvingrove's nine-second echo.

But he said he was used to it now and hoped to keep on playing for many years to come.

Mr Frier, who did not reveal his age, was taught by the Belgian composer and organist Flor Peeters.

Regular practice

Over the years he has played recitals at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh and Glasgow University Chapel.

Two of his Christmas concerts at the Kelvingrove in 1964 and 1965 were also broadcast by the BBC.

Mr Frier said he remained sharp by practising every day on a pipe organ at his home in Glasgow.

Kelvingrove Museum
The Kelvingrove organ is more than 100 years old
"It's quite unusual for organists to practice every day," he said.

"But I'm lucky enough to have a pipe organ at home in Glasgow - not an electronic one - and this helps."

Five pieces will feature in Mr Frier's free recital on Thursday, including The Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Claude Debussey and Variations on a Dutch Carol by Flor Peeters.

The Kelvingrove organ on which he plays was built by Lewis and Co, London, and featured at the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition.

It was later bought by Glasgow Corporation (now Glasgow City Council) and moved to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in 1902.

After years of deterioration the organ was restored in 1988 at a cost of 180,000.

Museum is top visitor attraction
08 May 08 |  Scotland

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