MONDAY EVENING'S VIDEO PROGRAM IS ARCHIVED BELOW
Introduction by Michael Velting, AGO OrganFest 2020 Chair
Welcome from Michael Bedford, AGO President
Toccata, Fernando Germani (1906‑1998)
Winner, 2018 AGO National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance
Aaron Tan is a Canadian organist, engineer, and pianist. He has won numerous noteworthy contests and scholarships on both instruments including the First Prize and Audience Prize at the prestigious AGO National Young Artists (NYACOP) competition in 2018. Other competition prizes and awards include the Toronto RCCO Young Organists Competition, the Osborne Organ Competition of the Summer Institute of Church Music (Ontario), the RCCO’s National Organ Playing Competition, the Charlotte Hoyt Bagnall Scholarship for Church Musicians, the Lilian Forsyth Scholarship, the West Chester University Organ Competition, the Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition, the Sursa American Organ Competition, and the XVI Poland International Piano Festival Competition. His primary musical tutelage has been with John Tuttle, David Palmer, and Joel Hastings.
Mr. Tan is currently studying at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University and also serves as Organ Scholar at Church of the Resurrection, New York City. Previously he has served as Organ Scholar at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan, Artist in Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, and Assistant Organist at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. As a scientist, Aaron holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Michigan and worked there as a postdoctoral researcher after earning his degree, studying polymer thin films.
- Woolsey Hall, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Skinner Organ Company (1928) (specifications)
Greeting from James Thomashower, AGO Executive Director
Sinfonia from Cantata BWV 29, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685‑1750), arr. Marcel Dupré (1886‑1971)
Titulaire of the grand organ at St Eustache Church in Paris, and Professor of Keyboard Harmony at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Thomas Ospital has quickly earned a place amongst the world’s finest concert organists.
Mr. Ospital is equally at home performing as a solo recitalist or with choir or orchestra. He is also eager to perpetuate the art of improvisation in all of its forms, including the accompaniment of silent films. His performances have taken him throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Switzerland and Holland. He has also performed in Russia and in North America, where in 2012 he served for six months as Young Artist in Residence at the Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis King of France in New Orleans, USA.
Born in 1990, Ospital studied at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel in Bayonne, France, with Esteban Landart, then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where he earned five First Place prizes in organ, improvisation, harmony, counterpoint and fugue, and studied with Olivier Latry, Michel Bouvard, Thierry Escaich, Philippe Lefebvre, László Fassang, Isabelle Duha, Pierre Pincemaille and Jean-François Zygel. He is a laureate of several international competitions, including the Chartres Competition.
Mr. Ospital has two CD recordings available: Liszt, une divine tragédie recorded at St. Eustache Church featuring the organ music of Franz Liszt, and most-recently Convergences, recorded at the Radio France Concert Hall featuring works by Thierry Escaich, Johann Sebastian Bach, and improvisations by Mr. Ospital.
Presentation of 2020 AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition to Shawn Crouch by Eileen Hunt, AGO Vice-President
The Call of Wisdom, Will Todd (b. 1970)
Atlanta Master Chorale
Eric Nelson, director
Jonathan Easter, organ
Atlanta Master Chorale
Atlanta Master Chorale (AMC) has crafted one of America’s finest choral sounds, bringing singers and audiences to the place where music touches spirit. The choir was honored with Chorus America’s Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence in 2013 and the 2014 Prudential Board Leadership Award from BoardSource. Capitalizing on the momentum of these accolades, the choir was awarded a coveted performance spot at the 2017 American Choral Directors Association’s National Conference in Minneapolis, performing for nearly 4,000 of the country’s most dedicated choral professionals. In 2018, the Chorale was selected to receive a Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) Program Grant for 2018-20 as well as the recipient of a 2018-19 Leadership DeKalb (Business Leaders) Organization Consulting Project.
Begun in 1985 as Gwinnett Festival Singers, the group gained momentum well beyond its initial suburban reach, drawing singers and audiences from throughout metropolitan Atlanta. With the addition of Dr. Eric Nelson as Artistic Director in 2000, the Board formalized this expanding sphere of influence and Dr. Nelson’s artistic vision under the name Atlanta Sacred Chorale. Dr. Nelson’s exceptional leadership and field-leading conducting skills have propelled the professionally trained but always volunteer group to national recognition as a refined and dedicated community choir. In 2013, the group took another step toward leadership in choral artistry by settling into the designation, challenge, and vision-driven name of Atlanta Master Chorale.
With a dedicated board, staff, and roster of volunteer choristers, Atlanta Master Chorale will continue its mission to “lift the spirit through choral artistry” for many years to come.
- Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emory University
- Jaeckel (2005) (specifications)
Chelsea Chen in conversation with June Nixon
One of Australia's best-known organists, choir trainers and composers, June Nixon initially obtained a Diploma in Music (Piano) and Bachelor of Music (Organ) from Melbourne University, Australia. Postgraduate scholarships enabled further study in London, where she gained Associateship of the Royal College of Music, Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists, and was the first woman to be granted the John Brooke prize for the Choir Training Diploma. In 1968 she was winner of the Australian National Organ Competition, and in 1973 she was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul's Cathedral Melbourne. Nixon retired from this position in February 2013 and is now Organist Emerita. Her influence outside the Anglican Church was recognized in 1995 by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, awarding her the Percy Jones Award for "outstanding dedication and service given to music for worship." She was made a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Queen's Birthday Honours in 1998 for services to church music. In 1999, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on her the Lambeth Degree, Doctor of Music (Cantuar), and in 2013 she was awarded Associate of the Royal School of Church Music (ARSCM). June is a widely published composer, both in the USA and England, writing music which is accessible and enjoyable for both musicians and listeners. Several cathedral choirs have recorded her works, and her arrangement of the traditional carol “The Holly and the Ivy" was included in the Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Cambridge in 2010 and 2017.
Intrada – St. Anne (World premiere), June Nixon (b. 1942)
Jens Korndörfer, organ
Stuart Stephenson and Michael Tiscione, trumpets
In the last two decades, German organist Dr. Jens Korndörfer has established himself internationally as performer, educator and church musician.
Praised as “a virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition” who creates “performances that are deeply musically satisfying as well as exciting” (The American Organist), Jens has performed to critical acclaim at prestigious venues such as Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Merrill Auditorium in Portland (ME), Duke University Chapel, the Montreal Bach Festival, the Cathedrals in Washington, Berlin, Paris, Salzburg, Oslo, and Moscow, Westminster Abbey in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Kyoto Concert Hall, and the Cultural Centre in Hong Kong.
Jens’ repertoire reaches from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including transcriptions, commissions and world premieres. He frequently collaborates with other musicians, has performed with orchestras, and recorded four CDs. He has given master classes and presentations at conventions, universities, and concert halls around the world, and his research has been published in dedicated music journals.
Passionate about forming the next generation of organists, Jens taught at Agnes Scott College (2014-19) and, since 2017, has been directing the successful rebuild of the organ program at Georgia State University. In combination with graduate assistantships at major churches in the Atlanta area, the comprehensive program is designed to prepare students for a successful career in church and concert.
As Director of Worship and the Arts, and Organist at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, GA, Jens oversees a thriving music and arts ministry. Under his leadership, the sanctuary organ was completely rebuilt, enlarged, and re-voiced by organ builders Klais (Bonn, Germany) and Schlueter (Lithonia, GA), and a new Steinway Concert Grand Piano was purchased.
Thanks to collaborations with major cultural players (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, HIGH Museum of Art, Atlanta Opera), the introduction of programs that raise awareness for minorities in the classical arts, and presentations and lecture series on inter-disciplinary topics, Jens significantly increased the reach of the church’s music and arts ministry.
A top-honor graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Musikhochschule in Bayreuth and McGill University in Montreal, Jens’ teachers include Olivier Latry, Michel Bouvard, James David Christie, and Ludger Lohmann.
During Jens’ tenure as organist in residence at the Concert Hall Kitara in Sapporo, Japan, in the 2005/06 season, he was particularly inspired by the imaginative marketing and highly creative—and successful—outreach efforts of the hall’s administration. Ever since, in his positions he has striven to make the arts and especially the organ as successful as they were in Sapporo.