Organist Gail Archer Announces Tour
Internationally renowned concert organist and recording artist Gail Archer undertakes an ambitious nationwide tour performing at some of the country's finest churches and synagogues. Starting and ending in her home state of New York, the 28-city tour will feature music off of her latest albums as well as some new works by female composers.
Archer is known for enthralling audiences with her musicality and sensitivity and for giving her interpretations a visceral quality. Hailed for maximizing the organ's colors and capabilities, she touches the baroque then leaps to the late romantic and modern eras seamlessly. Her recital works include organ music by 20th and 21st century composers ranging from early Dutch literature to Bach, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Messiaen, and American music. "My aim is to lift hearts and minds, and to inspire audiences with the color and power of the organ and five centuries of great organ music," says Archer. As an advocate for female organists and composers, she also always programs works by women such as Joan Tower and Alla Borzova.
Besides traveling around the world to perform concerts, Archer is college organist at Vassar College and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus. She also serves as the director of the artist and young organ artist recitals at the historic Central Synagogue, New York City.
About Gail Archer
Gail Archer is a GRAMMY-nominated, international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer. In spring 2010, she celebrated the 325th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach with six concerts around New York City, concluding with the Art of Fugue at Central Synagogue. Lucid Culture proclaimed, "Like the composers she chooses, Archer's playing spans the range of human emotions-with Bach, there's always plenty to communicate, but this time out it was mostly an irresistibly celebratory vibe." In 2009, her spring series, Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century was inspired by Mendelssohn's extraordinary versatility as composer, conductor, performer and scholar and included the organ music of his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann. The series was recorded live and is available on-line at Meyer-Media. Archer was the first American woman to play the complete works of Olivier Messiaen for the centennial of the composer's birth in 2008. Time-Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as "Best of 2008" in Classical music and opera.
Archer's recordings span the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, a festive discography that highlights her musical mastery on grand Romantic instruments as well as Baroque tracker organs. Her most recent compact disc, Bach, the Transcendent Genius, celebrates the brilliant improvisations on Lutheran hymn tunes of the "Great 18" chorale preludes (MM1013). The release on Meyer-Media, is the first recording on the Paul Fritts tracker organ at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. An American Idyll, released by Meyer Media in August, 2008 (MM08011), and recorded on the E. M. Skinner/Randall Dyer organ at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, features American organ music from 1900 to the present, including music by Joan Tower and a work commissioned by Archer, Praeludium super Pange Lingua by DavidNoon. Her centennial concerts in honor of Olivier Messiaen also produced A Mystic In the Making (MM07007), recorded on the Aeolian-Skinner organ at Columbia University, which includes two complete cycles, L'Ascension, and Les Corps Glorieux. Her solo debut CD The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CACD 88043), recorded on the Fisk organ at Wellesley College, was released in 2006 by London's CALA Records. Archer recorded works of Bach along with narration read by Robert Thurman as part of a project for the Tennessee Players and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Words of Albert Schweitzer and the Music of Bach. A live concert recording made at the Organalia Festival in Turin, Italy was released in 2005.
During the 2009-2010 season, Archer promoted her new recording, Bach, the Transcendent Genius; highlights include recitals at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Exeter College, Oxford, Harvard, Princeton, Luther College, Shorter College, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, MO and St. Joseph R. C. Church, Macon, Georgia. Archer is college organist at Vassar College, and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus. She serves as director of the artist and young organ artist recitals at historic Central Synagogue, New York City.