Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia to Perform Handel, Rheinberger & Brosse, 1/19
Intertwining the brilliance of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ - the largest concert hall organ in the country - with the charm and intimacy of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Music Director Dirk Brossé conducts a special organ concert in the KimMel Center's Verizon Hall on Sunday, January 19 at 2:30 pm.
In collaboration with The KimMel Center for the Performing Arts, the Chamber Orchestra presents a program that spans several classical eras - Baroque, Romantic, Impressionist and Contemporary - and highlights both prominent and rarely heard organ works, making it a concert not to be missed. Alongside the Chamber Orchestra, Concertmaster Miho Saegusa and Philadelphia organists Matthew Glandorf, Alan Morrison and Jeffrey Brillhart perform music by Handel, Paulus, Jongen, Brossé, and Rheinberger.
Tickets for the performance are $24 to $81. Patrons are invited to attend the Pre-Show Artist Chat at 1:40pm in Verizon Hall with Music Director Dirk Brossé, Ms. Saegusa, Mr. Glandorf, Mr. Morrison, Mr. Brillhart, and American Public Media's Pipedreams host, Michael Barone.
George Frideric Handel | Overture to Alessandro, HWV 21
George Frideric Handel | Organ Concerto in G minor, Op. 4 No. 1
Handel's Opus 4 is the first set of fully worked out and duly published organ concertos - a species of music wholly of his own invention - and was followed by two more sets of organ concertos in his later years. His Organ Concerto in G minor was first played on February 16, 1736 during the premiere of the ode, Alexander's Feast. The ode tells the story of a banquet held in the conqured Persian city of Persepolis by Alexander the Great, the same protagonist in Handel's Overture to Alessandro - the 21st in the series of 42 operas he composed between 1705 and 1741. The opera enjoyed considerable early success, but later paled in comparison to his other operas such as Giulio Cesare and Rodelinda. The overture is sprightly and provides a welcome opening for the concert.
Stephen Paulus | Organ Concerto
Paulus' Organ Concerto is a representation of a figurative portrait of the relations between the individual and society. The work is scored for solo organ, strings, and a substantial array of percussion instruments which, throughout the piece, provoke the solo organ into its most emphatic and majestic statements in the piece's Finale. The work was commissioned by Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia through the generosity of Neil and Sue Williams, and Dan and Sandra Mackey, and dedicated to Norman Mackenzie, who was the soloist in its first performance on March 29, 1992.
Joseph Jongen | Hymne, Op. 78, for Organ and String Orchestra
Jongen wrote over 200 works in his entire career, much of which he destroyed in his late years. His Hymne, Op. 78 still stands as one of his best-remembered compositions and is considered to be a warmly expressive and gentle piece, characteristic in both its traditional harmonic idiom and technical polish.
Dirk Brossé | Black, White and In Between
Black, White and In Between is the story of a passionate man trying to find the truth with his constantly searching gaze. The relative and constantly changing definition of truth is prodded in this work, settling to be often found on the dividing line, or 'In Between' - in between Yin and Yang, dark and light, or 'Black and White.'
Joseph Rheinberger | Organ Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 177
Rheinberger is remembered mostly today for his organ works, and has been considered the most valuable addition to organ music since the time of Mendelssohn. His works are characterized by the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians as "...a happy blending of the modern Romantic spirit with masterly counterpoint and dignified organ style," which are evident in Organ Concerto No. 2. The work is described to end in a finale of full-throated eloquence that rises to a pitch of true majesty.
Violinist Miho Saegusa has served as Chamber Orchestra Concertmaster since Fall 2011. She enjoys an active career as a chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral player, and has performed throughout the United States and abroad. She is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, has performed with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and is a current member of IRIS Orchestra, where she has held the Isaac Stern Concertmaster Chair on numerous occasions. Ms. Saegusa has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Aspen Music Festival's Dorothy DeLay Fellowship, Wieniawski-Lipinski International Competition, and Yale University's William Waite Competition.Organist Matthew Glandorf has an active career as a conductor, composer, church musician, and educator. He was appointed the Artistic Director of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia in 2004, became the Artistic Director of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia in 2008, and has served as Director of Music for many Philadelphia churches. As an organist, he is noted for his improvisation and has played recitals throughout the United States, England, and Germany, and has many recordings as an organist and an accompanist. Mr. Glandorf has served on the faculties of Swarthmore College and Westminster Choir College, and is currently a member of the Curtis Institute of Music faculty.
Organist Alan Morrison is recognized as one of America's premiere concert organists. In addition to his extensive solo and orchestra performances in prestigious concert venues throughout the world, he has had the distinct honor of being chosen by his peers to perform for four national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Mr. Morrison has won top prizes in numerous competitions, and regularly conducts masterclasses sponsored by the AGO throughout the United States and Canada. He has also recorded ten critically acclaimed CDs for multiple recording companies, and has been featured on two episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Morrison is currently Head of the Organ Department at The Curtis Institute of Music and Westminster Choir College, and the College Organist at Ursinus College.
Organist Jeffrey Brillhart is recognized globally for his own organ improvisation, as well as performance, choral conducting, and teaching. He was once the winner of the American Guild of Organists International Organ Improvisation, and has presented master classes at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and Westminster Choir College, among other institutes of higher learning. He is currently the Director of Music and Fine Arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, on the organ faculty at Yale University, and is the Director of Philadelphia's Singing City Choir.