George McPhee

George being congratulated by Paisley Abbey Minister Revd Alan Birss for his 50 years' service as Director of Music at Paisley Abbey, 27th October 2013
Photo: Stewart McDougall


"The combination of a full congregation, and the magnificent organ playing of George McPhee really made the abbey resound with a glorious sound."
Comment on Songs of Praise broadcasts, 2013

"This CD presents both player and organ in the best possible light. All clearly played with affection and technical assurance. Fine music-making here - warmly recommended."
"Cathedral Music" 2012 review of "Grand Choeur"

"The dancing dexterity characteristic of McPhee's playing throughout his long career is fully on display in the Finale of Vierne's Third Symphony; the joyful vigour of Messiaen's "Dieu parmi nous" crowns his achievement in every sense."
"Choir and Organ" 2012 review of "Grand Choeur"

"George Mcphee displays admirable technique and musicianship throughout and serves the music faultlessly... This is as good a recital you can get of French organ music and demonstrates one of the country's top musicians still at the height of his powers playing one of the most distinctive instruments in Britain."
Amazon 2012 review of "Grand Choeur"

"This was not only a splendid performance, it was a brilliantly planned programme as well."
King's College Chapel, University of Aberdeen, Tuesday 9 November 2004. Review: Alan Cooper

"I nominate the arrangement by George McPhee, deeply respected choirmaster of Paisley Abbey for many a year."
The Scotsman, 3 December 2008, referring to "Away in a manger"

"As a recitalist and recording artist - especially on the magnificent Paisley Abbey organ that he had spectacularly rebuilt in 1968 - McPhee has been a seminal force, exploring the progressive French repertoire of Messiaen, Alain and Duruflé at a time when it was less fashionable. His broad musical talent encompasses composition ... and arrangements. His natural flair for the latter is well documented in the Scots Songbooks he has compiled with George McVicar."

"George McPhee... joined the singers in as mellow and fluid account of Durufle's Requiem as I expect to hear. McPhee's playing, quietly opulent and restrained, matched the seamless and moving performance from the BBC group."
Michael Tumelty

"The virtuoso technical demands of two movements from Messiaen's "Les Corps Glorieux" clearly held no terrors for him. Equally the softer more reflective passages were played with sensitivity. This was organ playing of real stature."

"Mr. McPhee proved himself to be an excellent Messiaen interpreter with tasteful and exciting registrations in all three sections."
Clayton Lee - Calgary Albertan

" favourite CD is 'The French Connection' played in Paisley Abbey by George McPhee"

"There are many reasons for buying "Carols For Culzean Castle" but the main one is that, despite the title, it's Paisley Abbey choir singing. To those who know, this is guarantee enough. George McPhee's direction must be spellbinding to produce such sensitive singing as this. There are moments when it borders on the magical. The items arranged by McPhee ... make a welcome change from more entrenched settings."
GR - The Gramophone

"Of the service settings, George McPhee's Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis and Preces and Responses, written for his Paisley Abbey choir, are strongly characterised, highly effective settings, well worth attention."
Classical Music, November 6 1982

"George McPhee, who also gave a magnificent performance of the Prelude in Fugue on the name Alain, played the organ accompaniment with admirable poise and meticulous attention to Durufle's detailed instructions regarding tempo and registration."
Rebecca Tavener

"Vierne's Impromptu is the sort of piece which most organists hope brides are not going to ask for at their wedding— it is fiendishly difficult, but flowed and twinkled perfectly last night."

"...the tremendous Bach Passacaglia in C (BWV 582) which ended the programme, and in which McPhee shows complete mastery of the instrument in a sustained and powerful performance."
Wilma Paterson, The Glasgow Herald, 15 October 1988