Organist & Director of Music
Dominic Perissinotto is one of Australia’s most exciting recitalists, widely sought after as a soloist and accompanist. His passion for promoting the pipe organ, not only as a church instrument, but also as a concert and ensemble instrument, has seen him work with a number of musicians and groups in Australia and Europe.
A Master of Music graduate in 2004 of the University of Melbourne, Dominic was awarded a Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to assist with further studies at the Royal College of Music in London, commencing in 1991. During his time in London he was appointed to the post of Organ Scholar at Westminster Catholic Cathedral and gave recitals at St Paul’s and Westminster Cathedrals, Westminster Abbey and Oxford Town Hall. Dominic also toured Belgium, Italy and England, often returning to Italy, Austria and England to perform in festivals.
Dominic moved to Perth in April 1998 and is now Organist and Director of Music at St Patrick’s Basilica, Fremantle. He works as a freelance organist with many Perth based groups, is President of the Organ Society of Western Australia, teaches and enjoys traveling both for performances and recreation. Now in its ninth season, Dominic established the PIPE ORGAN PLUS concert series to showcase one of Western Australia’s most impressive pipe organs at the Basilica, while also bringing a wider audience to the organ through association with other musicians, exploring a wide variety of music from medieval to modern.
Dominic has received a number of grants from the Australia Council (2001, 2004 and 2006) and the Department of Culture and the Arts (WA) (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008) to commission, perform and record new Australian works.
The Basilica’s Masses are enriched by the talents of both English and Italian choirs.
The Basilica English Choir is organised by Dominic Perissinotto (0412 200 516).
The Basilica Italian Choir is led by Sister Cecilia OMSC (9336 3750).
Rebuilding of the Basilica Organs
The Church of St Patrick in Fremantle, built in 1900 complete with flying buttresses and raised to the
status of a Basilica in 1994, is a majestic example of 14th century Gothic style architecture.
A 2-manual mechanical action organ, having a compass of C-f ”’ for the Great division and c-f ”’ for
the Swell, was built in 1898 by J.C. Bishop & Son of London. This organ which was sited on the North
wall of the gallery, was first rebuilt by Gunstar Organ Works of Adelaide, South Australia, in 1965 with
electric action and a divided facade of simple design.
It was rebuilt again in 1988-90 by Bellsham Pipe Organs of Perth, Western Australia, to an ambitious 4-manual specification including a highly decorated Gothic case made of Philippine Cedar, and a second interconnected 2-manual organ in the south transept. These organs were given in thanksgiving in memory of the many priests of the Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate who have served the parish since their arrival from Ireland in 1894.
The present rebuild undertaken by the South Island Organ Company of Timaru, New Zealand, is the result of a generous gift by the Hughes family in memory of Alice Hughes (dec.).
The work has been extensive, involving a complete reorganization and expansion of the internal layout, with several new divisions, additional pipework and complete revoicing, new winding system, new serial-drive MIDI electrical system, and low -profile transept console.
The rebuilt organ completed for Easter 1998 is a triumph of eclectic organ design and is amongst the largest Church organ installations in Australia.
For more information on the organ’s specifications, please click here.