LSM Newswire

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Davis legacy honoured at inaugural concert

The legacy of the family responsible for the world-class Davis Concert Organ in the Winspear Centre for Music will be recognized at Edmonton's first annual Winona and Stuart Davis Memorial Organ Recital. The concert, which spotlights French virtuoso Vincent Dubois holding court on the 6,551-pipe instrument at the Winspear (99 St. & 102 Ave.), Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m., will also launch the Sundays at 3 Organ Recital Series 2008/2009 season.

The occasion will also bring to attention the establishment of the Davis Concert Organ Maintenance and Performance Trust, created to maintain the instrument in pristine condition and foster additional concerts that feature the organ.

"With 2008 acknowledged as the International Year of the Organ, the timing of this concert and trust is perfect," says Marnie Giesbrecht, who is on the trust's organizing committee and is acting managing co-director of the Sundays at 3 Organ Recital Series. "The trust will honour Dr. Stuart Davis's desire to keep the organ in top shape and enable more people to play and hear it. Organizations that present organists often can't afford the hall, so this trust is a good way to facilitate those possibilities. More groups using the organ will probably enhance more creative use of the Davis family's gift to the city of Edmonton."

Dr. Stuart Davis, a retired University of Alberta professor and a fan of organ music, donated $2 million to assist in the construction of the organ, which was built in the Winspear by Orgues Letourneau. Completed in 2002, the instrument was christened the Davis Concert Organ in memory of the doctor's late wife Winona. Dr. Davis passed away in 2005, having declared in his will that a trust continue to support the organ.

The concert's organist, Vincent Dubois, is currently the Assistant Director of the Conservatoire National of Angers and has been the titular organist at the Cathedral of Soissons since 2001. He's also won the Recital Gold Medal at the 2002 Calgary International Organ Competition and the Grand Prize at the 2002 International Competition of Toulouse, France, which resulted in a performance itinerary that has since stretched around the globe. Dubois will perform an all-French program that includes works by Marcel Duprą©, Cą©sar Franck, Louise Vierne and Maurice Duruflą©,

Tickets for the Winona and Stuart Davis Memorial Organ Recital are $20 and available at the Winspear box office (780-428-1414), Tix on the Square (780-420-1757) or at the door. For more information, contact the Sundays at 3 Organ Concert Series at (780) 429-1655 or visit their website at www.rcco.edmonton.ab.ca.

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