LSM Newswire

Monday, October 19, 2009

Roy Thomson Hall's 13th Annual Free Noon Hour Choir & Organ Concerts: featuring Frédéric Champion, organ on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12 Noon

Roy Thomson Hall’s 13th Annual Free Noon Hour Choir & Organ Concerts
Frédéric Champion, organ
Solo Recital by the First Prize Winner of the Canadian International Organ Competition
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - 12 Noon / Roy Thomson Hall / Toronto
FREE Admission - Call 416-872-4255 for further information
For reservations of 20 or more, call 416-593-4822, Ext.225
Concert suitable for ages 6 and up -

Toronto, ON, October 16, 2009 - French organist Frédéric Champion launches Roy Thomson Hall’s 13th Annual Free Noon Hour Choir & Organ Series with a solo recital of organ masterworks on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12 Noon. The event is the first of four FREE noon hour concerts during the 2009-2010 season that celebrate the artistry of outstanding organists and choral ensembles, and spotlights Roy Thomson Hall’s magnificent Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ, one of the largest mechanical action instruments in Canada.

Frédéric Champion won the top prize at the inaugural Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC), held in Montreal in October 2008. The first prize included a three-year career management contract with Karen McFarlane Artists, a CD recording with ATMA Classique, which will be released in October 2009, and a $30,000 cash award. He was also voted the audience favourite to win the $5,000 Richard Bradshaw Audience Prize. The competition attracted 60 applications from 17 countries; and following a pre-selection round, 16 competitors from 11 countries were chosen to participate. Mr. Champion’s Roy Thomson Hall solo recital is part of his debut North American tour as the initial ambassador of this prestigious new triennial competition. Organist John Grew is the Artistic Director of the CIOC.

A native of Lyon, France, Frédéric Champion has won a string of top prizes at major international organ competitions, including First Prize at the Minoru Yoshida Tokyo Competition; the Bach Prize at the Leipzig Bach Competition; First Prize at the International Competition Gottfried Silbermann; and First Prize at the International Competition Musica Antiqua in Bruges. He has performed regularly as a solo organist and with orchestras and choirs, appearing in concerts in France, Germany, Russia, Portugal and Japan. Mr. Champion is acclaimed for his exceptional talent at improvisation.

Frédéric Champion’s Recital Program at Roy Thomson Hall Nov. 10, 2009 at 12 Noon
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) - Prelude in E-flat major “St. Anne”
Jean-Baptiste LULLY (1632-1687) - Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (excerpts)
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) - Sonata 6 in D-minor
Charles-Marie WIDOR (1844-1937) - Allegro Vivace from Symphony No. 5
Frédéric CHAMPION (1976 -) - Improvisation

Roy Thomson Hall’s Choir & Organ Concerts are generously supported by Edwards Charitable Foundation

Roy Thomson Hall’s 2009-2010 Free Noon Hour Choir & Organ Concerts (Call 416-872-4255):
- Tues Nov 10/09 12 Noon: Frédéric Champion - Solo Organ Recital
- Tues Dec 15/09: Victoria Scholars & The Sr. Choir of St. Michael’s Choir School - A Christmas Celebration
- Thurs Mar 25/10: Elora Festival Singers - Celebrating the Music of J.S. Bach
- Wed April 7/10: The Choirs of Viva! Youth Singers of Toronto - Youthful Treasures

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

International Organ Festival: RCCO Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Royal Canadian College of Organists

Celebrates 100th Anniversary


June 28-July 2, 2009 in Toronto

The King of Instruments reigns over Toronto from June 28th to July 2nd, 2009, as the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO) celebrates its 100th anniversary. To pay tribute to Canada’s superb tradition of organ music and organ building, the venerable institution proudly serves up a majestic series of events under the banner of the International Organ Festival. In doing so, the RCCO - Canada’s oldest extant musicians’ association - joins with the American Guild of Organists (AGO) to mark the International Year of the Organ 2008-2009. “The International Organ Festival is a glorious festival for a glorious instrument,” comments Mark Toews, chair of the RCCO Centenary Celebrations. The unique celebration comprises an array of concerts featuring outstanding Canadian, European and American artists, premiere performances of newly commissioned works, many public events including liturgical services, a family concert and an organ competition, as well as a convention that will bring over 300 organists, musicologists, organ builders from all over the world to Toronto.

Highlights include a magnificent concert by the world-famous organist Dame Gillian Weir and Canada’s own Rachel Laurin performing at Metropolitan United Church (on Canada’s largest pipe organ) with orchestra under the baton of Raffi Armenian; recitals by prominent Canadian organists such as Ken Cowan, Patrick Wedd, Jonathan Oldengram and Rachel Laurin, France’s Thierry Eschaich, Craig Humber (Newfoundland/Austria) and James David Christie (U. S.). With performances by some of Canada’s finest choral groups such as the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Exultate Chamber Singers, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, the Elmer Iseler Singers with True North Brass and Toronto’s sensational a cappella group Soul Influence, plus a variety of worship services including High Mass at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene (music of Healey Willan), the RCCO is pulling all the stops to offer dazzling experiences for all music lovers. The Festival also provides a fabulous opportunity to explore and visit many notable and historic Toronto venues and organs and to celebrate the rich history of the RCCO.

Founded in 1909 as the Canadian Guild of Organists, the RCCO is Canada's oldest musicians' association. Today, the RCCO is a nationwide interdenominational community of professional and amateur organists, church musicians, choral conductors, and others sharing an interest in the organ and church music.


Toronto, June 28-July 2, 2009 - See detailed schedule below

For more details, please visit:

Or call 289-314-5600


Toronto, June 28-July 2, 2009

These Festival events are FREE and open to the public:

Saturday, June 27

10:00 am: Organ Competition Semi-Finals at the Church of the Holy Trinity

10 Trinity Square (Eaton Square)

Sunday, June 28

3:45 pm: Organ recital by Andrei Streliaev at St. James Cathedral, 65 Church Street

6:15 pm: Organ recital by Yoon Park at St. Thomas's Anglican Church, 383 Huron Street

Monday, June 29

4:30 pm: Festival Service featuring Elmer Iseler Singers (Lydia Adams, conductor), True North Brass & Paul Halley at St. James Cathedral, 65 Church Street

5:45 pm: Change ringing by the Cathedral Guild of Change Ringers on the lawn of St. James Cathedral

Tuesday, June 30

4:00 pm: Organ Recital by Isabelle Demers at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square

4:30 pm: RCCO Convocation at the Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square

7:45 pm: Carillon Recital by Gerald Martindale on the lawn of Metropolitan United Church,

56 Queen Street East

Wednesday, July 1

9:30 AM: Carillon Recital by Michael Hart at Soldier's Tower on the lawn of Hart House,

7 Hart House Circle (Queens Park)

1:30 pm: Organ Competition Finals at Lawrence Park Community Church, 2180 Bayview Avenue

Thursday, July 2

4:30 pm: Organ Recital by Patrick Wedd, followed by High Mass at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, 477 Manning Avenue


Toronto, June 28-July 2, 2009


Sunday, June 28

8:15 pm: Organ recital by Matthew Coons followed by Songs of the Soul: Creation's Rainbow of Hope! with Soul Influence at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East $10

Monday, June 29

1:00 pm: Organ Recital by Craig Humber at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 73 Simcoe Street $15/10*

8:15 pm: Organ Recital by Rachel Laurin at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 227 Bloor Street East $20/15*

Tuesday, June 30

11:15 am: Organ Recital by James David Christie at Our Lady of Sorrows Church,

3055 Bloor Street West $15/10*

2:00 pm: Organ Recital by Jonathan Oldengarm followed by Choral Concert by Tafelmusik Chamber Choir (Ivars Taurins, conductor) St. Paul's Basilica, 83 Power Street $20/15*

8:15 pm: Gala Concert for Organ & Orchestra featuring Dame Gillian Weir, Rachel Laurin and Raffi Armenian, conductor at Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street East $35/25*

Wednesday, July 1

10:00 am: Family Concert featuring Ryan Jackson and Giles Bryant at

Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, 31 Kings College Circle

$5/children 12 and under; $10/adults; $20/ family

11:30 am: Canada Day Choral Concert by Nathaniel Dett Chorale (Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, conductor) at Knox Presbyterian Church, 630 Spadina Avenue $20/15*

Thursday, July 2

1:30 pm: Choral & Organ Concert with Thierry Escaich & Exultate Chamber Singers (John Tuttle, conductor) at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 227 Bloor Street East $20/15*

8:15 pm: Organ Recital by Ken Cowan at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church,

2850 Bloor Street West $20/$15*

* Specially priced for students & seniors

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Les Mélodînes de la Place des arts - Le piano et l'orgue à l'honneur en avril


Le piano et l’orgue à l’honneur en avril

Les jeudis 2 et 9 avril 2009 de 12 h 10 à 12 h 50

Montréal, le 23 mars 2009 – Pour terminer la saison en beauté, Christian Parent, pianiste, et Pierre Grandmaison, organiste, deux artistes au sommet de leur art, sont au programme des MÉLODÎNES au mois d’avril. Les Mélodînes sont coproduites par la Société Pro Musica et la Place des Arts.

Jeudi 2 avril de 12 h 10 à 12 h 50 au Piano nobile de la Place des Arts

Belge d’origine, le pianiste Christian Parent reçoit sa formation musicale au Conservatoire royal de musique de Liège. Plusieurs institutions et événements d’Europe soulignent aussitôt ses performances en lui octroyant prix et distinctions. Installé en permanence au Canada, il perfectionne son art avec Irving Heller. La critique et le public vantent son jeu spontané et sa virtuosité saisissante qui concourent à donner une sonorité unique à ses interprétations. Artiste accompli, il s’intéresse également aux techniques d’enregistrement dans le studio qu’il a créé et où il grave des CD de ses compositions et interprétations. Professeur de piano à la Faculté de musique de l’Université de Montréal et au collège Vincent-d’Indy, il donne aussi des classes de maître et participe, à titre de jury, à plusieurs concours. Il présentera des pièces de Scarlatti, Beethoven, Medtner et Rachmaninov lors de ce concert du 2 avril.

Jeudi 9 avril de 12 h 10 à 12 h 50 au Piano nobile de la Place des Arts

Pierre Grandmaison entreprend ses études musicales en tant que pianiste et organiste. À son retour de Paris, boursier du gouvernement du Québec, il se consacre à l’orgue. En 1973, il est nommé titulaire des grandes orgues de la basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal et, en 1977, il a le plaisir d’inaugurer l’orgue Casavant restauré de l’église de Saint-Hilaire. Éminent spécialiste de musique sacrée, il enseigne au Grand Séminaire de Montréal et participe à d’importantes manifestations à caractère religieux, notamment à Notre-Dame de Paris et à Saint-Pierre de Rome. Pierre Grandmaison est aussi compositeur. Citons, entre autres, son oratorio Plénitude et Résonnances, créé en 2005 lors du centenaire de fondation de l’Oratoire Saint-Joseph. En ce Jeudi Saint, qui ouvre le Tridium Pascal, le concert qu’il présente est une formidable occasion de relier le sacré et la beauté.

Une production de la Société Pro Musica en collaboration avec la Place des Arts.

Entrée : 8 $ (taxes incluses) – Apportez votre lunch !

Réservations : Billetterie de la Place des Arts 514 842-2112 ou 1 866 842-2112 ou


Piano and organ spotlighted in April

Thursdays, April 2 and 9, 2009 from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m.

Montreal, March 23, 2009 – To close the season in style, pianist Christian Parent and organist Pierre Grandmaison, two artists at the height of their career, will perform on the program of LES MÉLODÎNES in April. The series is co-produced by the Société Pro Musica and Place des Arts.

Thursday, April 2 from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the Piano nobile of Place des Arts

The Belgian-born pianist Christian Parent trained at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in his native city of Liège. He was soon winning prizes and distinctions at competitions throughout Europe. After immigrating to Canada, Parent perfected his art with Irving Heller. Critics and public alike have praised his spontaneous style and astonishing virtuosity, which combine to give his performances a unique flavour. Recording is also a major part of Christian Parent’s career: as the owner of his own studio, he is able to record his interpretations of masterworks for the piano, as well as his own compositions. Christian Parent teaches piano at the Université de Montréal’s faculty of music and at the Collège Vincent-d’Indy; he also gives master classes at various institutions and serves on the juries of numerous competitions. In this concert on April 2, he will perform works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Medtner and Rachmaninov.

Thursday, April 9 from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. at the Piano nobile of Place des Arts

Pierre Grandmaison began his studies as a pianist before turning to the organ. Awarded a grant by the Quebec government, he studied in Paris for two years. On his return from France, he gave organ recitals throughout Quebec and in 1973 was named the regular organist at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. In 1977, he had the honour of inaugurating the restored Casavant organ at Mont St-Hilaire, one of the builder’s first instruments. An eminent specialist in sacred music, he teaches at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal and performs at major religious events at such churches as Notre-Dame in Paris and St. Peter’s in Rome. As a composer, he has written several masses, as well as the oratorio Plénitude et Résonances, created in 2005 for the 100th anniversary of the founding of St. Joseph’s Oratory. On this Holy Thursday before Easter, he is a presenting a program combining the sacred and the beautiful.

A production of the Société Pro Musica in collaboration with Place des Arts.

Admission: $8 (taxes included) – Bring your lunch!

Reservations: Place des Arts box office 514-842-2112 / 1-866-842-2112 /

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walt Disney Concert Hall Curator Dedicates Local Church Organ

Curator Manuel Rosales Restores 50-Year-Old Pipe Organ and Showcases at Recital on Nov. 2

(LOS ANGELES, CA)–Walt Disney Concert Hall curator and builder of its pipe organ, Manuel Rosales will dedicate St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church newly restored pipe organ on November 2. Fifty years ago, St. Edmund’s in San Marino invested in a world-class instrument known as Aeolian-Skinner Opus Number 1323, or a pipe organ. One of 1,400 instruments produced by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company and its predecessor, the Skinner Organ Company, in America, St. Edmund’s pipe organ is a significant historical instrument in need of restoration.

“St. Edmund’s has only been able to provide the maintenance necessary to slow the pipe organ’s disintegration,” said The Reverend George F. Woodward III, rector of St. Edmund’s. “The pipe organ was in need of restoration, revoicing, and tonal finishing to enhance and improve the instrument to the builder’s original intent.”

The San Marino church consulted with Thomas Harmon, PhD, Professor and University Organist, Emeritus, of UCLA, who established the potential for enhanced effectiveness of the organ through restoration and judicious additions of new pipework. “The church with long and continued services from its fine Aeolian-Skinner instrument and has the potential, particularly if the organ is enlarged, of regaining its place as one of the important instruments in the greater Los Angeles area,” according to Harmon.

To assist with the organ’s restoration, St. Edmund’s contracted Manuel Rosales of Rosales Organ Builders, who designed and supervised the construction of the organ at the new Walt Disney Concert Hall and is the Curator of that organ. With over 25 new instruments including large organs for Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon and St. James Catholic Cathedral in Seattle Washington, Rosales is the fine artisan St. Edmund’s needed to revive its pipe organ’s stunning voice and tone. Examining fully the St. Edmund’s pipe organ, which is located in four chamber rooms, Rosales provided the church with a comprehensive description of its much-needed mechanical rebuilding.

The formal name of the completed instrument is “The St. Edmund’s Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1323 / Rosales Opus 37 Organ.” With over 700 new pipes, including the addition of exterior façade pipes in the chancel, renovation of the console, and a total rebuilding of all wind chests, leather pouches, electronics and expression shutters, the San Marino pipe organ is among the finest church organs in Southern California, and is attracting national attention.
St. Edmund’s pipe organ has already garnered national attention with its guest organist for the dedication recital, world-renowned Stephen Tharp, who is hailed as “the organist for the connoisseur” (Organ magazine, Germany), “the thinking person’s performer” (Het Orgel), “every bit the equal of any organist” (The American Organist magazine) and “the consummate creative artist” (Michael Barone, Pipedreams). Tharp is recognized as one of the great concert organists of our age.

Having played 32 solo intercontinental tours and over 800 North American concerts, Tharp has built one of the most well-respected international careers in the world, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at Grace Church (Episcopal), New York, and served as organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral from 1995-1997 and the Associate Organist at St. Bartholomew's, NYC, from 1998-2002.

Tharp’s recital will include the works of Bach, Widor, Demessieux, Drupré, Hakim and Mendelssohn. The dedication will begin at 4:00 p.m. at St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church located at 1175 San Gabriel Blvd. in San Marino, CA 91108. Rosales will also offer a special presentation about the restoration project.
To learn more about St. Edmund’s Aeolian-Skinner Opus 1323 / Rosales Opus 37 Organ, contact the San Marino church at (626) 793-9167 and visit

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Chelsea Chen Debut Nov 23 | Walt Disney Concert Hall


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2008 AT 7:30 PM


Chelsea Chen, the brilliant 24-year-old organ virtuoso, will make her Los Angeles debut on the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ Series on Sunday, November 23, at 7:30 p.m. The program is a rich mix of works from four centuries, including a piece written by Ms. Chen:

Marcel Dupré – "Le Monde dans l'attente du Sauveur" from Symphonie-Passion

Louis Vierne – Naiades from "Pièces de fantaisie"

Chelsea Chen – Taiwan Tableaux

Ola Gjeilo – Sinfonietta

Paul Hindemith – Sonata No. 1

J.S. Bach – An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653

Max Reger – Chorale-fantasy on "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben, bleibe meine Seelenfreud!"

Ms. Chen will be playing from the detached, movable (electro-pneumatic) console on stage, which will allow her to hear the balance of the organ in the hall, and will give the audience a better sight line.

"I've always admired Disney Hall's scintillating architecture and organ design. There really is not a more 'hip' place to hear and play the organ! Originally, I thought of the organ only as a church instrument, and while I am passionate about that magnificent repertory, I am also dedicated to secular works that show off the organ's wide range of expression. I hope that the audience will enjoy both the traditional and the contemporary works on the program, such as my own "Taiwan Tableaux" and Ola Gjeilo's "Sinfonietta."


Tickets for the performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall (111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles) are $24 to $49, on sale now online at; at Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office; or via credit card phone order at 323/850-2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full-time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323/850-2000.

About Chelsea Chen

With performances described as "electrifying" and "brilliant," Chelsea Chen elicits high praise for her exceptional command of the organ. She has already performed to great acclaim throughout the U.S., Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. A Juilliard graduate and Fulbright scholar, she is broadening the classical organ repertoire with her own Asian-inspired compositions.

Ms. Chen recorded her debut CD and DVD, "Live at Heinz Chapel," on the Heinz Chapel organ in Pittsburgh, PA at the 2005 Convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders. Her playing has been broadcast on "Pipedreams" from American Public Media, Hawaii Public Radio, and Taiwan's Good News Radio.

In 2006, Ms. Chen was featured at both the American Guild of Organists Region IX Conclave in Las Vegas and the AGO National Convention in Chicago. In addition, she has appeared as soloist with the Juilliard Percussion Orchestra in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and with the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra in Colorado. She premiered her own "Taiwanese Suite" (2003) and "Taiwan Tableaux" (2007) at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, and has premiered several works by Juilliard composers Teddy Niedermaier and Ola Gjeilo, all with great success. In collaboration with harpist Arielle, their organ and harp ensemble, Duo Mango, has championed new works by Paul Desenne, Yui Kitamura, and Roderick Gorby.

Ms. Chen has been the recipient of many awards including The Baker Prize for a top incoming organ student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, The Charles Ives Prize for an outstanding organ major at the Yale School of Music, and The John Erskine Prize for scholastic and artistic distinction at The Juilliard School. In addition, she has taken first prizes in competitions including the 2005 Augustana/Reuter National Undergraduate Organ Competition, the 2003 Region IX AGO RCYO Competition, and the 2005 Musical Merit Foundation Competition. In 2006, she was an Aspen Music Festival full-scholarship recipient for piano.

Originally from San Diego, California, Ms. Chen studied piano from a young age with Jane Bastien and Lori Bastien Vickers. At fifteen, she began organ lessons with Leslie Robb, and later with Monte Maxwell. She then went on to study with John Weaver and Paul Jacobs at Juilliard, receiving her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. From 2003-06, she was organist at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Manhattan and was a leader of the Juilliard Christian Fellowship. In 2006-2007, she composed, lectured, and performed in Taiwan as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. Currently, she is in the Artist Diploma program at Yale University studying with Thomas Murray.

The Unusual Works on the Program – Notes by Chelsea Chen

Chelsea Chen: Taiwan Tableaux (2007)

"Taiwan Tableaux" is a suite of six short movements based on Taiwanese folksongs dating from the 1930s. In recent years, these popular melodies have been heard in arrangements for orchestra, traditional Chinese instruments, and a variety of other ensembles. Five years ago, I wrote the three-movement "Taiwanese Suite" for a concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego. The original idea was to showcase the colorful sounds of that outdoor organ. Later, I expanded that work during my Fulbright residency in Taiwan. Renamed "Taiwan Tableaux," it is dedicated to my father, who grew up in Taiwan.

Ola Gjeilo: Sinfonietta (2002)

Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo was a classmate of mine at Juilliard. Now based in New York City, he is critically acclaimed for his film, choral and instrumental music, which meld classical and jazz styles. In 2005, he approached me to give the U.S. premiere of "Sinfonietta." As the title implies, this is a "little symphony" in one movement for organ. The opening features spirited passagework for the hands and a solo pedal cadenza for the feet, inspired by Bach's Toccata in C Major, BWV 564. A modal chorale emerges in a reflective, middle section, and is the basis for the climactic chordal ending.

Louis Vierne: Naiades from "Pieces de Fantaisie"

Born virtually blind, French organist and composer Louis Vierne was organist for 37 years at Notre Dame in Paris. One of the first organists to tour internationally, he composed his "Pieces de Fantaisie" for an immensely popular American concert tour in 1926-27. "Naiades" -- French for water-nymphs -- features a never-ending stream of sixteenth-note scales in the right and left hands. The lush string and flute pipes of the organ are highlighted in this piece.

Marcel Dupré: "Le Monde dans l'attente du Sauveur" from Symphonie-Passion,

Op. 23

French virtuoso organist Dupré improvised a four-movement symphony at the world- famous Wanamaker Grand Court Organ in Philadelphia during his U.S. concert tour in 1921. Having been given four liturgical melodies on which to improvise, he recalled: "I played in a state of exaltation that I have rarely experienced." He returned to France and composed "Symphonie-Passion" based on his improvisation. The first movement, "The World Awaiting a Savior" (Le Monde dans l'attente du Sauveur), depicts a restless pre-Christian world with a series of hushed, rapid-fire chords growing in intensity. The middle section introduces Jesu redemptor omnium (Jesus, redeemer of the world), a traditional Christmas hymn. This melody is then combined with the agitated chords of the opening in a triumphant, fortissimo conclusion.

Max Reger: "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben, bleibe meine Seelenfreud!" Op. 52, No. 3

Reger wrote his three Op. 52 chorale-fantasias in 1900, angered by a review citing his "weakness of invention." "Hallelujah! Gott zu loben," the third and most victorious of the three fantasias, is a series of variations on a hymn based on Psalm 146. After five variations, he introduces a mammoth fugue in which the chorale returns in the pedal, triumphantly showcasing his compositional prowess while setting the text, "The Lord shall reign for ever, unto all generations."


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 Dupré, César Franck, Louise Vierne and Maurice Duruflé,

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

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

French flair launches Sundays at 3 season

French flair launches Sundays at 3 season

A prince among performers is set to tackle the king of instruments when French virtuoso Vincent Dubois performs on the renowned Davis Concert Organ at the Winspear Centre for Music (99 St. & 102 Ave.) Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m. Dubois' Winspear appearance is the focus of Edmonton's first annual Winona and Stuart Davis Memorial Organ Recital, which also launches the Sundays at 3 Organ Recital Series 2008/2009 season.

Dubois hasn't even reached the age of 30 and already he's been hailed as "one of the world's leading young concert organists" by trade publication The American Organist. 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. He's appeared solo and with such world-renowned ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong-Kong Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France. Dubois also has an expanding discography that includes interpretations of the work of Franz Liszt on the Vox label as well as two releases recorded in France on the Jav label.

Born in 1980, Dubois started on organ when he was 11 at the Cathedral of St. Brieux, before furthering his studies at the National Conservatory of Angers and the Conservatoire National Supériour de Musique de Paris, studying with Olivier Latry, who performed in Edmonton at Windspiration in 2007. Dubois is currently the Assistant Director of the Conservatoire National of Angers, where he previously was an instructor, and has been the titular organist at the Cathedral of Soissons since 2001.

Dubois will perform an all-French program that begins with a transcription by Marcel Dupré of a Bach cantata orchestral overture. Following some of the most colourful works by César Franck, Louise Vierne and Maurice Duruflé, Dubois will improvise on submitted themes showcasing his virtuosity and creating on the spot a new and dazzling work. His improvisations have enthralled audiences and critics worldwide.

Tickets for the Winona and Stuart Davis Memorial Organ Recital are $20 and available at the Winspear box office or Tix on the Square; Jan, Feb. concerts $15 at Tix on the Square or at the door. Season subscriptions are $45 and available by calling (780) 454-3882 or Tix on the Square at (780) 420-1757 or For more information, contact the Sundays at 3 Organ Concert Series at (780) 429-1655 or visit their website at

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Kotzschmar Organ Summer Series Opens June 17

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kathleen Grammer, 207-883-4234

Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ
Summer Season 2008

All concerts begin at 7:30 pm

Pre-concert talks begin at 6:30 pm

Admission: $12.00 suggested at the door; under 21, free, unless otherwise noted.

All performances at Merrill Auditorium, City Hall, Portland, Maine

June 17 Ray Cornils, Portland Municipal Organist Classical with Kotzschmar Festival Brass

June 24 Felix Hell - Classical

July 1 Geroen Krahfoerst, Germany, improvisation - Classical

July 8 John Schwandt, Oklahoma - Classical/Pops

July 15 Frederick Hohman - Classical

July 29 Silent film - Tom Trenney featuring Buster Keaton Silent film in The General

August 5 Classical -Ken Cowan (John Weaver Celebratory Concert)

August 12 Dave Wickerham, Boca Raton, FL - Pops

August 19 Peter Conte Wanamaker - Classical

August 26 James Vivian Temple Church, London - Classical

Summer Demonstration-tour concerts - please check for detailed schedule, dates to be determined.

About the Kotzschmar Organ:
The Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, built in 1912 by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford, Connecticut, was given to the City of Portland by Cyrus H. K. Curtis. It is this nation's oldest working municipal organ. With 5 manuals (keyboards) for the hands, a 32-note pedal board for the feet, over 6800 pipes from ½ inch to 32 feet in length, over 100 miles of wiring and weighing more than 50 tons, it is truly one of this nation's musical treasures.

In addition to the concerts listed above, FOKO presents an annual education program, "Meet the King of Instruments," in May and has commissioned the design and construction of the Kotzschmar, Jr., a small, portable, working organ intended for demonstration and educational outreach in school classrooms.

About the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (FOKO):
The Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ (FOKO) was founded as a non-profit organization in 1981 to relieve the City of Portland of the tasks of raising funds for the organ's care and repairs. FOKO present a wide variety of concerts including a summer classics and pops organ series, a silent film series and Music from the World's Great Cathedrals series.

For more information about the Kotzschmar Organ and the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, visit

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Le Concours international d'orgue du Canada : Une première à Montréal !

Le nouvel événement majeur prend son envol avec l'annonce de
16 concurrents

MONTREAL, le 5 mai /CNW Telbec/ - Cet automne, Montréal accueillera du 8 au 19 octobre 16 organistes virtuoses dans le cadre de la première édition du Concours d'orgue international du Canada (CIOC). "Ce Concours est une vitrine extraordinaire pour l'imposant patrimoine culturel montréalais, notamment, pour les magnifiques orgues de ses nombreuses églises, a déclaré Kent Nagano, directeur musical de l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal et patron d'honneur du Concours. Je salue les efforts investis dans la démystification de la musique d'orgue, et je suis fier d'offrir mon soutien en vue de cet événement musical de premier plan." Seul concours international d'orgue des Amériques en 2008, l'événement triennal misera sur la qualité pour offrir au public un nouveau rendez-vous musical de classe internationale.

Montréal, berceau de l'orgue

Ville aux cent clochers, Montréal possède une collection d'orgues de grande envergure d'une valeur inestimable. Les professeurs d'orgue des universités et conservatoires du Québec sont reconnus et le talent des facteurs d'orgues d'ici rayonne à l'étranger. "Avec autant d'éléments jouant en faveur de Montréal, la création d'un concours international d'orgue devenait incontournable. Octobre 2008 sera mémorable dans l'histoire de l'orgue au pays !", a déclaré M. John Grew, organiste de l'Université McGill et directeur artistique du CIOC.

Avec l'arrivée du Concours, un nouveau rendez-vous est maintenant inscrit à l'agenda culturel des Montréalaises et des Montréalais et à celui des visiteurs. "Je me réjouis de la tenue de ce concours d'envergure internationale dans la métropole, a déclaré madame Catherine Sévigny, conseillère associée à la culture et au centre-ville à la Ville de Montréal. Indéniablement, ce nouvel événement est source de fierté et contribue au rayonnement de Montréal comme métropole culturelle."

Un concours international prestigieux

Menée auprès de 1500 facultés de musique et conservatoires autour du monde, la campagne de recrutement du CIOC a permis de recevoir 60 candidatures de 17 pays. Outre le nombre important d'inscriptions pour un nouvel événement, le niveau très relevé des musiciens ressort de façon claire.

Des 16 organistes retenus par un jury préliminaire, 13 sont lauréats de concours d'orgue établis. Représentant 11 pays, cette sélection de très haut calibre regroupe six femmes et dix hommes d'une moyenne d'âge de 28 ans. Pendant le concours un jury de neuf éminents spécialistes de sept pays déterminera les lauréats et leur remettra 65 000 $ en bourses et de nombreux prix spéciaux. "C'est à la fois grâce au jury international et avec les prix les plus importants de tous les concours d'orgue que le Concours international d'orgue du Canada a attiré 16 des meilleurs jeunes organistes au monde", a déclaré M. Grew, qui présidera le jury en octobre prochain.

Le volet compétitif du concours se déroulera en trois épreuves, entre le 8 et 17 octobre, et se clôturera par un concert gala des lauréats le 19 octobre. La première épreuve se tiendra à l'Eglise Immaculée-Conception, la deuxième à l'Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste et la finale à la Basilique Notre-Dame. John Grew, directeur artistique du CIOC, promet aussi des concerts et des activités de formation dont l'annonce se fera en septembre prochain.

"Le CIOC ancrera le statut de Montréal comme capitale nord-américaine de l'orgue. Dès la première édition, nous souhaitons positionner notre Concours parmi les meilleurs au monde", a fait remarquer M. E. Noel Spinelli, C.M., le président du conseil d'administration du CIOC.

Partenaires et visionnaires

C'est grâce aux efforts et à l'engagement des membres du conseil d'administration du Concours que des appuis financiers importants ont été obtenus. Comme diffuseur officiel, Radio-Canada contribuera à la découverte. Avec les intervenants du milieu de l'orgue, ses donateurs et ses partenaires fondateurs soit RBC, Equipe Spinelli, Financière Sun Life et Hydro Québec, le Concours international d'orgue du Canada jouera un rôle de premier plan pour faire connaître de nouveaux talents qui mettront en valeur ces instruments spectaculaires, souvent inconnus du public. Mentionnons aussi la participation du Ministère de la culture, des communications et de la condition féminine, du Ministère du tourisme et de la Ville de Montréal. Fort de l'appui de ses partenaires, le CIOC poursuit les démarches de recherches de fonds afin de garantir le succès de sa première édition et d'assurer sa continuité.

A propos du CIOC

Le Concours international d'orgue du Canada (CIOC) accueille au pays de jeunes organistes recrutés à travers le monde. L'organisme effectue un travail annuel pour promouvoir l'orgue comme instrument majeur dans la culture musicale au pays en plus de contribuer au développement de la carrière de jeunes organistes. Présenté sur des instruments de qualité dans des lieux d'une grande beauté architecturale, le CIOC jouera un rôle important dans la mise en valeur du patrimoine qui a fait de Montréal une référence nord-américaine dans le domaine de l'orgue. Vous pouvez consulter le site Web du CIOC au

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