San Diego International Organ Festival Opens With Pink Floyd And Led Zeppelin Tribute

San Diego International Organ Festival Opens With Pink Floyd And Led Zeppelin Tribute

Monday, June 24 through Saturday, August 31, 2019, the Spreckels Organ Society and Artistic Director Raúl Prieto Ramírez present the 32nd annual San Diego International Organ Festival at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, eleven concerts featuring international talent pushing the artistic boundaries of a traditional sound in Balboa Park's most majestic open air setting.

The 2019 Festival opens with a Tribute to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and an unforgettable sound and light show, and continues with virtuoso performances by world class organists from Spain, Argentina, France, Canada, Sweden, and the United States; San Diego Symphony guest musicians; and the always popular Silent Movie Night.

All Festival concerts start at 7:30PM, are family and pet friendly, and no cost admission is made possible by the City of San Diego, the Spreckels Organ Society, and its members and underwriters.


OPENING: MONDAY, JUNE 24 - The Tribute Night

Pink Floyd & Led Zeppelin (featuring local artists)

After last year's outrageously successful finale concert, Raúl Prieto Ramírez and the Spreckels Organ Rock Band are back, this time to open the Festival with a shot of music adrenaline! This popular concert always draws a huge crowd and will kick off the summer. Band members include Richard 'T-Bone' Larson (drums), Andrew Mckeag (guitar), Ariel Levine (guitar), Kenseth Thibideau (bass guitar).

Light and sound provided by John Roy Sound, a live visual light show using video and analog projectors with oil, water, and digitally created film reels provided by 'Operation: MINDBLOW'

A VIP package including reserved seating will be available for purchase for the June 24 concert only. Proceeds support future concerts, Call 619-702-8138.

MONDAY, JULY 1 - San Diego Civic Organist Evening Spectacular by Raúl Prieto Ramírez, USA/Spain

Immensely talented San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez is one of the most exciting musicians on the international scene. Performing a wide range of classical and popular repertoire with the flair and bravado of a Spanish matador, Raúl gives audiences a dose of passion for music and life.

MONDAY, JULY 8 - Patriotic Music by Dave Wickerham, USA

Theatre organ concerts are a favorite among American audiences, and we always look for the best. Award-winning, California Native Theatre organist Dave Wickerham was named American Theatre Organ Society Organist of the Year in 2011 - the best of the best. His popular performances have made him a featured favorite around the world in unique settings. His fourth CD recently sold out and he has several new recording projects soon to be released.

MONDAY, JULY 15 - Rising Stars Night

The Spreckels Organ Society reserves one festival concert each year to showcase some of the brightest rising stars of the organ world. This year the featured performers will be the 2018 first-prize winners of the National Young Organists Competition - Aaron Tan (American Organ Society) and Luke Staisiunas (American Theatre Organ Society).

MONDAY, JULY 22 - Organ Four Hands and Four Feet by Peter Richard Conte, USA, with Andrew Ennis, USA

Possessing nearly unparalleled talent to make the organ sound like a whole orchestra, Peter Richard Conte is known for his brilliant ear for tonal color and innovative style. As Wanamaker Grand Court Organist at the Macy's Department Store in the heart of Philadelphia for over 30 years, he presides over the world's largest, fully functioning musical instrument with over 29,000 pipes. A masterful and enthralling performer, Mr. Conte will present a duo concert with flugelhorn player and organist Andrew Ennis.

MONDAY, JULY 29 - Paraphrases and Improvisations on Bohemian Rhapsody, Jesus Christ Superstar, Could it be Magic, and more by Hector Olivera, USA/Argentina

Maestro Hector Olivera has been named "A Musical Giant of the 20th Century" by Interlude. His prodigious technical proficiency and formidable creativity dazzle audiences with blazing technique and electric repertory. Times Reporter describes an evening with Olivera as "An event, a happening, a joyful celebration of the sheer power and pressure that a true virtuoso like Hector Olivera can unleash on a concert hall."

MONDAY, AUGUST 5 - A Taste of Paris by Thomas Ospital, France

Titulaire of the grand organ at Saint-Eustache Church in Paris - the largest in France - and newly appointed Organist in Residence at Maison de la Radio (Radio France Concert Hall), Thomas Ospital has quickly earned a place among the world's finest concert organists. Ospital has only recently become available to play in the USA. The San Diego International Organ Festival will be one of the first to bring his amazing artistry to our country.

MONDAY, AUGUST 12 - Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Bach, and Stravinsky by Isabelle Demers, USA/Canada

Known as the diminutive dynamo of the organ world, Isabelle Demers is head of the organ program at Baylor University, Texas, and one of North America's most virtuosic organists. Demers has enraptured listeners world wide with spell-binding performances and has enchanted standing-room-only audiences who call her back to the stage with "Demers fever."

MONDAY, AUGUST 19 - Ravel's Bolero, Paganini Variations, and Other Dances on the Organ by Gunnar Idenstam, Sweden
When it comes to describing the work of Gunnar Idenstam, Gramophone said it best: "His organ compositions occupy their own universe -- part hard, progressive rock, part elfin folklore, part nave-shaking French symphony. Idenstam's touch of the organ is as funky as it is majestic." A busy and successful career in Europe has kept Idenstam from visiting the United States. The San Diego International Organ Festival has the honor and privilege of presenting him in the US.

MONDAY, AUGUST 26 - 16 Strings, 5,000 Pipes: The Spreckels Organ and 4 String Instruments

by San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez and Artists from the San Diego Symphony

After his mind-blowing 2018 concert of organ and piano with Maria Teresa Sierra, Raúl Prieto Ramírez presents (only in San Diego, and for the first time in music history) a concert featuring famous string and piano quartets, duos, and trios by composers like Brahms and Franck with the piano part arranged for the organ. Artists from the San Diego Symphony join Ramírez for this history-making concert.

SATURDAY AUGUST 31 - Silent Movie Night with Clark Wilson, USA, and Beer and Wine Tasting at the Japanese Friendship Garden

5:30pm: Beer and Wine Tasting begins (Tickets will be available at EventBrite in June)

7:30pm: Concert begins featuring hilarious short, silent films (no cost admission).

It's the most popular concert of the festival, drawing audiences of all ages into the thousands, and it's in great hands with organist Clark Wilson who has been called a "master of silent film, and showman of the first order." Wilson has recorded seven albums, concertized in the US, Canada and England, and done extensive silent movie accompaniment across the nation including Los Angeles' Walt Disney Concert Hall where he is invited back year after year. One of this year's silent movies will be a tribute to the 100th anniversary of San Diego County's "Spreckels Railroad:" Chasing Choo Choos (1927).

Snacks, beverages and gifts are available, and proceeds from donations benefit the nonprofit Spreckels Organ Society working to preserve, program, and promote the Spreckels Organ as a musical gift to humanity. The historic 1914 Spreckels Organ is the largest open air musical instrument in the world.

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