Organ Week

Nightly Concerts

Monday, June 4 - Baroque Concertos for Organ and Harpsichord

Monday, June 4, 7:30 p.m., Organ Recital Hall, UCA
Featuring members of the Fort Collins Symphony, directed by Wes Kenney with Joel Bacon, James David Christie, and Ken Cowan
No Charge/CSU students; $3/youth (under 18); $12/seniors; $14/general public

An evening of organ and harpsichord concertos with three internationally acclaimed organists and members of the Fort Collins Symphony, conducted by Wes Kenney. Works include: G. F. Handel’s Concerto for Organ in F Major, Op. 4/4;C.P.E. J.S. Bach’s Concerto in G Major for Organ, Wq. 34; and Bach’s Concerto for Solo Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052, and Concerto for Two Harpsichords in C Major, BWV 1061.

The Baroque-themed evening features CSU’s newest harpsichord, a Dennis Brown instrument owned by the late organ professor, Robert Cavarra. “I am so pleased to be able to play this beautiful instrument at CSU,” said Joel Bacon. “Bob would have really loved hearing it together with his beloved Casavant organ!”

The Cavarra harpsichord joins another Dennis Brown instrument long owned by CSU. According to Joel Bacon, “The two harpsichords are sisters, really. Very similar in design and tonal quality. So, bringing them together is like a family reunion!” Dr. Bacon joins James David Christie (Boston Symphony, Oberlin Conservatory) in performing Bach’s joyful and exuberant Concerto in C Majoron these two instruments.

Rounding out the program are two organ concertos considered to be highlights of the 18th century: works by C.P.E Bach and George Frederic Handel.

Tuesday, June 5 - Solo Organ Recital: Ken Cowan

Tuesday, June 5, 7:30 p.m., Organ Recital Hall, UCA
No Charge/CSU students; $3/youth (under 18); $12/seniors; $14/general public

Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists. Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues and churches in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Although Ken Cowan has visited Fort Collins frequently, this will be his first full recital on the Casavant organ at CSU — a wonderful addition to celebrations of the instrument’s 50th anniversary!

Wednesday, June 6 - Duo Recital: Caleb Hudson, Trumpet and Joel Bacon, Organ

Wednesday, June 6, 7:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 1005 Stover St., Fort Collins
No charge, no tickets, open seating beginning at 7 p.m.

The program features works from the Baroque to the contemporary, including Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto in D Major, RV 230, Petr Eben’s Okna (Jerusalem Windows by Marc Chagall), and music by J.S. Bach.

Caleb Hudson plays trumpet for the Canadian Brass, performing for thousands of fans around the world each year. Having graduated from the Juilliard School with both a Bachelor and Master of Music degree, Caleb made his solo debut with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and was acclaimed by the New York Times as 'brilliantly stylish." Caleb has performed as a soloist around the world ranging from soloing in Carnegie Hall to appearing with rock band Vampire Weekend on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Other solo engagements include the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Yellow Barn Festival, University of Georgia Wind Ensemble, University of Scranton, and a solo recital at the University of Georgia that was broadcast nationally on NPR's Performance Today. Caleb won first place at the National Trumpet Competition multiple times, and performed with pianist Vladimir Feltsman at the Aspen Music Festival, as well as the New York City Ballet, New World Symphony, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, and New York Trumpet Ensemble. An avid baroque musician, Caleb also performs with notable early music ensembles including Philharmonia Baroque, American Bach Soloists, The American Classical Orchestra, Concert Royal, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra. As part of an exclusive agreement between the Conn-Selmer Corporation and Canadian Brass, Caleb performs on 24-karat gold-plated Bach trumpets.

Thursday, June 7 - CSU Organ Week Closing Concert

Thursday, June 7, 7:30 p.m., Organ Recital Hall, UCA
Featuring James David Christie, Joel Bacon, and Ken Cowan
No Charge/CSU students; $3/youth (under 18); $12/seniors; $14/general public

The final program of CSU's 2018 Organ Week features all of the week’s guest organists in an unforgettable evening of music on CSU’s famed Casavant organ.

Guest Artists

James David Christie

Oberlin College and Conservatory
Professor of Organ; Chair, Organ Department

James David Christie has been internationally acclaimed as one of the finest organists of his generation. He has performed around the world with symphony orchestras and period instrument ensembles as well as in solo recitals.

Christie has served as organist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1978 and has performed and recorded with the major orchestras of Vienna, London, Stuttgart, Koblentz, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, New York, Boston, and others. He has given more than 50 tours of Europe and performs regularly in Canada, Asia, Australia, and Iceland.

He is music director of Ensemble Abendmusik, a Boston-based period instrument orchestra and chorus specializing in sacred music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He has performed with many period instrument orchestras including the Academy of Ancient Music, the Bach Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, the New York Collegium, and others.

Christie holds positions as chair and professor of organ at Oberlin Conservatory; distinguished artist in residence at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts; and chair and college organist at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He has previously held positions at Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, M.I.T., and Boston University. oberlin.edu/james-david-christie

 

Joyce Jones

Baylor University School of Music; The Joyce Oliver Bowden Professor of Music and Organist-in-Residence

Who wouldn’t like to play the pedals like Joyce Jones? I’ve just ordered her book, Pedal Mastery For Organ from Amazon and I can’t wait.   The page previews show exercises ranging from elementary to quite terrifying.

Joyce Jones is renowned for her twinkling, virtuosic feet. Here she is on YouTube playing Flight of the Bumble Bee – on the pedals of course.  The relaxed economy of movement, and effortless pedal trills are just wonderful to watch.

Dr Jones is winding down her performance schedule as of last year, when she retired from her position as Professor of Music and Organist in residence at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. “It’s my 79th birthday and I don’t mind saying at my age, it’s amazing that anyone that old can still be playing,” she announced.

She describes herself as an accidental organist – when she was a piano undergraduate in Texas she sprained her hand – badly.   Six weeks of no playing were ordered for recovery.  She occupied herself with pedal exercises on the organ, and found a natural talent and affinity for the instrument. The rest is history.

theladyorganist.com

Joel Bacon

Colorado State University; Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair of Organ and Liturgical Studies

A native of N.J., Dr. Joel Bacon holds degrees in mathematics and organ performance from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he was a student of Joyce Jones, and an artist diploma in organ from the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (Vienna, Austria), where he studied with Michael Gailit. With a dissertation on the use of organ in selected orchestral works, he earned his PhD in historical musicology through a joint degree program of Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts and the University of Vienna.

Joel Bacon has a growing reputation as a performer, teacher and scholar in North America and Europe. He has been heard in recital in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Canada, and the US, and live performances have been broadcast on Austrian Radio (1) and Public Radio International. He has taught at the prestigious Oundle International Festival (Cambridge, UK), at several Pipe Organ Encounters of the American Guild of Organists, and at other courses in the US and Canada. With the principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic, Albrecht Rohde, he has recorded a CD of music for viola and organ.

Joel Bacon currently holds the Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies, the first endowed chair in the College of Liberal Arts. Before coming to CSU, he was assistant organist of St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Munich-Grnwald, and served as frequent guest organist at the former Hapsburg imperial church, St. Augustine, Vienna.

Ken Cowan

Rice University, Shepherd School of Music, Head of Organ Program

Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists. Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues and churches in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Recent feature performances have included appearances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Spivey Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea. In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at the national conventions of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO, and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Ken received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music/Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver. His major teacher during high school years was James Bigham, Organist/Choirmaster at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in Buffalo, New York, which is not far from his hometown Thorold, Ontario, Canada.

In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as associate professor and head of the organ program. Previous positions have included associate professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and associate organist and artist-in-residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City. kencowanorganist.com

Open Lectures and Masterclasses

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of CSU's Casavant Organ, the 2018 Organ Week features a series of free public lectures and masterclasses open to organists of all levels and organ enthusiasts. Due to limited space, registration is required.

 

Monday, June 4

9 a.m. / Building an organ: A view from 18th century France
  • Jim Steinborn / Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, Library

What does it take to build an organ? From 1766–1778, Dom Bédos de Celles answered this very question in a monumental four-volume treatise, “L’art du facteur d’orgues” (The Art of the Organ Builder). The most famous such treatise ever written, with dozens of beautifully engraved plates, it contains some of the most iconic images of the organ ever produced.

Organ builder Jim Steinborn will present a rare, first-edition copy of this treatise, using its images to explain how the art of building organs has developed over time. Participants will have the opportunity to see first-hand this remarkable document of music history.

Due to the fragile nature of this book, each session is limited to 12 persons.

10:30 a.m. / Try the organ! An organ demonstration for young people
  • Andrew Steinberg / First United Methodist Church

This special organ demonstration is designed for young people (up through high school) — especially those with some background in playing piano. Organist Andrew Steinberg will talk about how organs work, perform short pieces, and invite participants to give it a try. The organ is different than the piano… but if you can make music on the piano, you can make music on the organ, too!

This session is limited to 40 participants.

2 p.m. / Fundamentals of organ registration
  • Ken Cowan / First Presbyterian Church

World-famous concert organist Ken Cowan talks about ways to approach registration on the organ. Are there rules? What should one be listening for when selecting stops? Are there tips for how to quickly register pieces on unfamiliar instruments?

Organists are invited to come with questions … and open ears!

This session is intended for organists; however, non-organists are welcome to audit. This session is limited to 25 participants.

Tuesday, June 5

9 a.m. / How organs work: Up close with CSU’s Casavant organ
  • Jim Steinborn / Organ Recital Hall

In this session, organ builder Jim Steinborn discusses the fundamentals of organ construction, using CSU’s Casavant organ as an example. From the wind supply to the key action to how pipes are tuned, this session will cover the basics of how pipe organs work. Participants will also have the opportunity to play the organ — and even peek inside!

Each session is limited to 25 participants.

10:30 a.m. / The art of harpsichord playing
  • James David Christie / University Center for the Arts, Room G202

The harpsichord has much in common with the organ and piano, sharing a repertoire with its keyboard siblings. Yet, there is much to be gained from a deeper appreciation of its unique musical qualities!

World-famous organist James David Christie is especially renowned for his interpretations of early music. In this session, he will demonstrate the essential aspects of making music on the harpsichord, inviting participants to play.

This session is intended for all keyboardists, and prior experience with harpsichord is not required. Non-keyboardists are welcome to audit. The session is limited to 20 participants.

2 p.m. / Harpsichord masterclass
  • James David Christie / University Center for the Arts, Room G202

In this masterclass, James David Christie will work with harpsichord students on solo or continuo repertoire. Participants wishing to play should provide the title of their piece.

The session is limited to a few performers, and up to 20 total auditors. 1.5 hours

6:45 p.m. / CSU’s Casavant organ: The next 50 years
  • Joel Bacon / Organ Recital Hall

In this short, pre-concert lecture (preceding the guest recital by Ken Cowan), Joel Bacon talks about the significance of CSU’s Casavant organ in its 50th year. What has made this instrument so successful, so admired, so beloved? What should we expect in the next 50 years? Questions from the audience are encouraged!

Open admission to any ticket-holder for the evening concert with Ken Cowan.

Wednesday, June 6

9 a.m. / Building an organ: A view from 18th-century France
  • Jim Steinborn / Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, Library

“What does it take to build an organ?” From 1766–1778, Dom Bédos de Celles answered this very question in a monumental four-volume treatise, “L’art du facteur d’orgues” (The Art of the Organ Builder). The most famous such treatise ever written, with dozens of beautifully engraved plates, it contains some of the most iconic images of the organ ever produced.

Organ builder Jim Steinborn will present a rare, first-edition copy of this treatise, using its images to explain how the art of building organs has developed over time. Participants will have the opportunity to see first-hand this remarkable document of music history.

Due to the fragile nature of this book, each session is limited to 12 persons.

10:30 a.m. / Organ masterclass I: repertoire to 1800
  • James David Christie / Organ Recital Hall

In this masterclass, James David Christie will work with organ students on solo organ repertoire — focusing on early music. Participants wishing to play should provide the title of their piece.

The session is limited to a few performers, and up to 20 total auditors.

2 p.m. / Organ masterclass II: repertoire from 1800
  • Ken Cowan / First United Methodist Church

In this masterclass, Ken Cowan will work with organ students on solo organ repertoire — focusing on Romantic and contemporary music. Participants wishing to play should provide the title of their piece.

The session is limited to a few performers, and up to 20 total auditors.

Thursday, June 7

9 a.m. / How organs work: Up close with CSU’s Casavant organ
  • Jim Steinborn / Organ Recital Hall

In this session, organ builder Jim Steinborn discusses the fundamentals of organ construction, using CSU’s Casavant organ as an example. From the wind supply to the key action to how pipes are tuned, this session will cover the basics of how pipe organs work. Participants will also have the opportunity to play the organ — and even peek inside!

Each session is limited to 25 participants.

10:30 a.m / Roundtable discussion: The future of the organ
  • Organ week guest artists / Runyan Rehearsal Hall

The pipe organ has inspired musicians and captivated listeners for well over a thousand years… Is now the time to ask: What is the future of the organ? Is it still relevant to the culture of classical music? Do churches still want organ music?

This year’s Organ Week guests will address these and other questions, from diverse perspectives (organ faculty, church musician, organ builder, concert artist). The audience is invited to ask questions.

This session is limited to 50 participants.

High School Camp

Organ Week is designed for high school students interested in expanding (or beginning) their organ study. Led by a faculty of prominent concert and church organists, the program features one-to-one instruction, masterclasses, and recitals on the finest pipe organs in northern Colorado, including CSU’s Casavant organ.

Study the art of organ building, develop skills in choral conducting and harpsichord, and improve your organ playing with a faculty of concert organists including James David Christie, Joyce Jones, Ken Cowan, Andrew Steinberg, and CSU’s chair of organ, Joel Bacon.

Organ weeks have a long history at CSU since the years when professor Robert Cavarra invited organists such as Marie-Claire Alain, Luigi Tagliavini, and Anton Heiller to give week long courses to capacity audiences. The festivals brought organ students from across the country, ideas were exchanged, insights were made, and great music filled the city!

Concerts feature world renowned soloists performing major solo and collaborative works.

 

What to Expect (for students)
  • Two tracks of education for beginner and advanced organ students
  • Tours of some large and historic instruments in Northern Colorado
  • Touring the inside of some large and historic organs
  • Private instruction during the week with some of the best organists in the field
  • Attending many recitals and performances with World Class Organists
  • Hands on classes from a master organbuilder
  • A chance to meet other students who share an interest in organ
  • The opportunity to take your keyboard skills to another level
  • Recreation activities, such as hiking in the Rockies
  • Spending time on CSU’s campus, taking advantage of great and new accommodation
  • Open to any level of organ student (must be proficient in piano, e.g. 2-part invention)

Contact

Joel Bacon

Associate Professor of Music; Organ; Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies

Joel.Bacon@colostate.edu

(970) 491-2431

2016 Photos

2015 Photos