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Wed, Jun 05

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Epsilon Spires

Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: George Matthew Jr.

Organist and carillonneur, George Matthew Jr. premieres rare organ pieces by underrecognized composers. His program for June features works by Florence B. Price, José Jesus Estrada (Mexico), Fela Sowande (Nigeria), Oskar Lindburg (Sweden), and Richard Purvis.

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Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: George Matthew Jr.
Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: George Matthew Jr.

Time & Location

Jun 05, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

George Matthew Jr

Musical Program for Wednesday, June 5th, 12pm

I. Finale from organ sonata I Florence B. Price (1887 – 1933)

II. Aspiratíon (Longing) José Jesus Estrada (1898 – 1980)

III. Noel Variations José Jesus Estrada

IV. Yoruba Lament Fela Sowande (1905 – 1987)

V. Joshua fit de battle ob Jericho Fela Sowande

VI. Variations on a chorale from Dalarna Oskar Lindburg (1887 – 1955)

VII. Toccata Festiva by Richard Purvis (1913-1994)

Program Notes:

Florence Beatrice Smith Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 2, 1887. She composed over 300 works and was the first Black woman to have a symphony performed by a professional (Chicago) orchestra. Her songs were performed by some of the great singers of her day.

José Jesus Estrada was born in Teocaltiche, Jalisco State of Mexico. He studied in Rome with Rafaelle Manarei; after returning Mexico in 1935 until his death in 1980, he was Professor of Organ at the National Conservatory in Mexico City. “Aspiratíon”, composed in 1955, somewhat reflects French Romantic harmony but is unique to him. Noel Variations (1963) in the style of

French Noel variations, is dedicated to his daughter.

Fela Sowande was born in Nigeria, studied there and in London; there he worked with the BBC

during WWII, was organist and choir director of the West London Mission of the Methodist church and held the degree of Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. In 1961 he directed the NY Philharmonic in a program of his own works. He taught at several American universities, the last being Kent State, and wrote many scholarly articles on Nigerian and European music, also organ and choral works.

The province of Delarna has been called, “the Vermont of Sweden”. Oscar Lindburg, born in 1887, a church organist from age of 14, studied at the Stockholm Conservatory, later becoming a professor there. A member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music, he composed a symphony, an opera, a requiem and many organ and choral works. He came from a family deeply knowledgeable in folk music.

Richard Purvis served in the U.S. Army in WWII and was captured by the Germans. When he was liberated, he barely weighed 100 lbs and could not play at all. He came back mightily to become a concert organist, composer and organist of LA Episcopal Cathedral.

ORGANIST BIO:

George Matthew, Jr. has been carillonneur of Middlebury College and Norwich University in Vermont since 1986. A church organist since the age of 13, he is currently organist of St. Thomas & Grace Episcopal Church, Brandon, Vermont. Before moving to Vermont in 1995, Mr. Matthew served for 30 years as organist in Reform synagogues in New York and Connecticut, including 18 years at Temple Sinai, Stamford, CT. Mr. Matthew has made 40 carillon concert tours of the USA and Canada and 13 of Europe, performing in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland. From 1969 to 1999 he played recitals of High Holy Days music, which he arranged for carillon on the Sunday between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur at First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, CT.

He has played organ recitals in the New York and New England area, as well as in Germany and the Netherlands. In June 2005, he was named Artist of the Year by the Vermont Chapter American Guild of Organists. For the last three he has premiered a number of organ works by Black and Hispanic organ composers. He has studied carillon with Arthur Bigelow and Frank Law, organ with Hugh Ross and Ernest White, and composition with David Barnett. He is a graduate of Columbia, Bridgeport, and Wesleyan Universities. He and his wife, harpist Sherri Matthew, improvise preludes and Communion music for Irish wire harp and organ at St. Thomas & Grace, Brandon.

In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by donation. Our Monthly Lunchtime Pipe Organ Concert Series is currently struggling financially to cover costs. Please consider making a donation to help us support the artists and be able to continue this series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Enjoy the program and THANK YOU for your support!

Tickets

  • Lunchtime Pipe Organ Ticket

    In order to make this program accessible for all, we are offering tickets by donation. Our Monthly Lunchtime Pipe Organ Concert Series is currently struggling financially to cover costs. Please consider making a donation to help us support the artists, maintain the organ and be able to continue this series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Enjoy the program and THANK YOU for your support!

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