Philly gets $5 million gift to boost organ concerts

Philly gets $5 million gift to boost organ concerts


norman lebrecht

August 08, 2017

From Peter Dobrin’s report:

The organ project, which is to begin this coming season, will make the orchestra and the Kimmel even more organcentric: commissioning new works; programming additional organ concertos and orchestral works that weave organ in and out of the overall texture; holding community concerts, recitals, and postlude concerts; and providing real-time program notes that explain the way the organ works.

“I would say we had not been programming concertos every year, and now we are,” said orchestra president Allison Vulgamore. “We have had a focus on using the organ clearly in works well known to the audience, such as the Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3, but not canvassing works to introduce to the audience. And that means we are spending time … keeping [the organ] in mind when we do our programming.”

Read on here.



  • Rgiarola says:

    Early morning, Sawallisch told me he is very happy about it!

  • Peter says:

    What a great idea! I suppose that this organ is suited for late 19th -20th – 21st century music.
    And there is more than Saint Saëns symphony, Poulenc’s concerto and Barber’s Toccata or Copland’s symphony.
    A few examples:
    Frank Martin’s masterly “Erasmi monumentum”
    Flor Peeters: concerto (1944) – Belgian composers Arthur Meulemans and Robert Herberigs wrote concerti for organ.
    Charles Chaynes : concerto ( with strings & percussion/1973)
    Jeanne Demessieux, Marcel Dupré, Charles Koechlin, Paul Hindemith (1962,for NY) etc.
    Jean Guillou, Thierry Escaich, Wolfgang Rihm, Malcolm Williamson… the list is very long!Last june the restauration of the colossal organ in Antwerp’s cathedral was celebrated with a new work by Robert Groslot etc. Roberto Sierra wrote one in 2012

    Recently a recording of Loeffler’s Villanelle du diable was issued. Vaughan Williams ballet Job and Symphonia Antarctica have terrific parts for organ.

    • MWnyc says:

      It’s actually a pretty versatile instrument.
      High Baroque sounds quite good on it (well, except for the equal temperament thing).

      After the festival when it made its debut, I remarked that it’s a good organ for people who don’t like the organ very much. (Meaning that the highest, shrillest stops are relatively un-shrill, and there didn’t seem to be any of those weird stops where the fundamental note is doubled at two-octaves-and-a-fifth.)

  • John says:

    Jongen Sinfonia Concertante

  • Frederick West says:

    Whilst we are at it –
    Arthur Butterworth Organ Concerto

  • Thornhill says:

    They said the same thing before the organ was installed, after the organ was installed, 5 years after the organ was installed…

    It reminds me how every time there is a new music director there is tons of talk about doing more in-concert opera, and then nothing.