Alastair Stout's career as an organist has taken him throughout the UK and North America. In 1990, he premiered his first published organ work at the retirement concert of Dr. Arthur Wills, OBE, in Ely Cathedral.
From 1991-1993, he was the organ scholar at Loretto School, Edinburgh, UK, where he played the newly-build Kenneth Jones instrument.
He studied organ at the Royal College of Music with Dr. John Birch, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Dr. Graham Elliot. During his time in London he gave recitals in St. Paul’s Cathedral, where he performed The Fenlands Suite by Dr. Arthur Wills, and in Westminster Abbey, where he co-performed Kenneth Leighton’s organ duet, Martyrs.
More recently, Alastair has been performing throughout North America in venues such as St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, NYC, and Trinity Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Heinz Memorial Chapel in Pittsburgh, PA.
In 2007, he was invited to give the first contemporary music recital at the Morelia International Organ Festival in Mexico. His concert was hailed as one of the highlights of the 41st festival.
He is a keen advocate of commissioning new music for the organ and has premiered new music written for him by Jonathan Cole, Gordon Lawson, Arthur Wills, Stephen Wilcox and Roger Zahab.
“All these fine works led to an exquisite two-part finale. First was an organ arrangement of Barber’s famed Adagio for Strings (itself an arrangement of a string quartet movement). Stout’s sublime performance delivered the deep and moving introspection of this masterpiece, never rushing the subtly colored haunting lines, always maintaining the intensity, tearing at the heart strings. There was a poignant hush before the applause.
Following the Barber could be a problem, but not for the grandeur of J.S. Bach. And Stout delivered that glory with virtuosity and flair with the Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572. With a combination of apt registrations (stops, or groups of stops) and subtle rhythmic control, he built to a church-shaking grandeur before embarking on sheer virtuosity. It was as exciting as it was moving.
Organ recitals are uncommon in Vermont, and Stout’s deeply rewarding performance makes one wonder why.”
Rutland Herald, March 2022