‘Curtis Presents’ Showcases Renowned Organist Alan Morrison at the Curtis Institute of Music on March 23

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‘Curtis Presents’ Showcases Renowned Organist Alan Morrison at the Curtis Institute of Music on March 23

Featuring Michelle Cann (Piano ’13), John Koen (Cello ’90), Karen Slack (Opera ’02), and faculty member Matthew Glandorf (Organ ’91)   

PHILADELPHIA, PA–March 18, 2014–The Curtis Institute of Music’s new recital series, Curtis Presents, features organist and faculty member Alan Morrison on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. at Field Concert Hall. Mr. Morrison (Organ ’91, Accompanying ’93) performs works by Schubert, Barber, Lutosławski, and Vierne alongside fellow Curtis graduates Michelle Cann, John Koen, Karen Slack, and Matthew Glandorf, who is also a member of the Curtis faculty.

The first half of the recital features three organ transcriptions: Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor for Piano Four Hands with organist Matthew Glandorf, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with soprano Karen Slack, and Lutosławski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini with pianist Michelle Cann. To open the second half of the recital, Mr. Morrison moves to the piano for a performance of Louis Vierne’s Sonata in B minor alongside Philadelphia Orchestra cellist John Koen. The program concludes with two Vierne works for solo organ: “Stèle pour l’enfant défunt” from Triptyque, Op. 58; and the Final from Symphony No. 4, Op. 32.

The recital takes place in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $35 and are available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or www.curtis.edu. Proceeds from the concert directly benefit current Curtis students. The Curtis Presents season is sponsored by Blank Rome LLP.

Alan Morrison is one of the most sought-after American concert organists, performing in Alice Tully, Jacoby, Verizon, Benaroya, and Spivey halls; Meyerson Symphony Center; Overture Center; Jack Singer Concert Hall; the Crystal Cathedral; National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; and colleges, cathedrals, and churches throughout North America, Europe, Russia, and Brazil.

Mr. Morrison has been a featured artist for numerous national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. He won first prize in both the Mader (California) and Poister (New York) National Organ Competitions, as well as the silver medal at the 1994 Calgary International Organ Festival. Mr. Morrison’s numerous recordings are regularly featured on radio stations worldwide, and his television appearances include two episodes of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood as both an organist and pianist.

A graduate of Curtis (organ and piano accompanying) and Juilliard (organ), Mr. Morrison is college organist at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. He is the head of the organ department at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2002.

Matthew Glandorf has an active career as a conductor, composer, church musician, and educator. He was raised in Germany, where he received early instruction at the organ of Bremen Cathedral with Wolfgang Baumgratz. At age sixteen he entered the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of John Weaver and Ford Lallerstedt. He pursued graduate studies with McNeil Robinson at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2004 he was appointed artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and in 2008 he became the artistic director of the Bach Festival of Philadelphia. He has served as director of music for many Philadelphia churches, including Old St. Joseph’s, Old Pine Street Presbyterian, and Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion. Mr. Glandorf has served on the faculties of Swarthmore College and Westminster Choir College and joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 1995.

Soprano Karen Slack recently appeared as Tosca and as Leonora in Il Trovatore with Arizona Opera; and as the Operatic Diva on the screen and soundtrack in the movie For Colored Girls. Recent concert appearances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Alabama Symphony; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Latvian National Symphony; and Verdi’s Requiem with the Madison Symphony and the Sacramento Choral Society. She has performed in Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem with both Albany ProMusica Symphony and Sacramento Choral Society, as Violetta in La Traviata with both Sacramento Opera and West Bay Opera, and as Serena in Porgy and Bess with both San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera. Other roles include Verdi’s Aida with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Cilla in Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner with the Michigan Opera Theater, and Agnes Sorel in Tchaikovsky’s Maid of Orleans with the San Francisco Opera and at Carnegie Hall. In 2006 Karen stepped in to make her Metropolitan Opera and international broadcast debut in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller. A native of Philadelphia and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she was heard as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and as Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Curtis Opera Theatre.

Michelle Cann has placed in many state, national, and international competitions including the Music Teachers National Association Competition, International Russian Piano Music Competition, Gilmore Piano Foundation Competition, and Blount Young Artists National Competition. She made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has performed with orchestras throughout the United States including the Florida Orchestra, Tampa Bay Symphony, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Cleveland Institute of Music Symphony Orchestra. She performed on the nationally broadcast radio show From the Top, hosted by pianist Christopher O’Riley; and was also featured on the premiere broadcast of WRTI’s (90.1 FM Philadelphia) new series, In Recital, in February 2014. In 2012 she performed with Curtis students, faculty, and alumni, including renowned violist and Curtis president Roberto Díaz, with Curtis On Tour which included performances in Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul. Ms. Cann recently received an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Robert MacDonald.

John Koen has been a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1990. He appears regularly on the orchestra’s chamber music series, and performed during Wolfgang Sawallisch’s 1993 opening week festival and the subsequent National Public Radio broadcast of Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Maestro Sawallisch as pianist. Mr. Koen has been a frequent guest on the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble series since 1993 and is a member of the Mondrian Ensemble and Network for New Music. He performed with the ensemble 1807 & Friends from 1990 to 1993. Mr. Koen has appeared as a soloist with the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Bulgaria, under the direction of Rossen Milanov. He also appears regularly as a soloist with the Lansdowne (Pa.) Symphony, of which he has been principal cello since 1992. Mr. Koen studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with David Soyer and Peter Wiley from 1985 to 1990, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree.

Highlighting alumni and faculty in a new recital series, Curtis Presents brings Curtis musicians from around the world to Field Concert Hall. Performers are leaders in their field, whose success as musicians in the 21st century continues the impact and legacy of Curtis music-making achieved over more than eight decades. Proceeds from the concerts directly benefit current Curtis students.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis provides its 168 students with full-tuition scholarships and personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. Its distinctive “learn by doing” approach has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Jonathan Biss, Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang. Curtis alumni hold principal chairs in every major American orchestra, and each season they are featured as guest soloists with the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses, and chamber music series.

Curtis’s innovative programs encourage students to perform often and hone 21st-century musical skills. The school’s facilities offer superb spaces for music-making, as well as state-of-the-art technologies to enhance learning. In addition to more than 200 performances in and around Philadelphia each year, students perform internationally with Curtis On Tour. When they graduate, they become musical leaders, making a profound impact on music around the globe. To learn more, visit www.curtis.edu.

Curtis Presents: Alan Morrison, organ
Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m.
Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia

Fantasy in F minor for Piano Four Hands, D. 940
(transcr. Glandorf/Morrison)
Alan Morrison, organ (’91, ’93)
Matthew Glandorf, organ (’91)

Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24 (transcr. Morrison)
Karen Slack, soprano (’02)
Alan Morrison, organ

Variations on a Theme by Paganini (transcr. Morrison)
Alan Morrison, organ
Michelle Cann, piano (’13)

Sonata in B minor, Op. 27
John Koen, cello (’90)
Alan Morrison, piano 

“Stèle pour un l’enfant défunt” from Triptyque, Op. 58
Final from Symphony No. 4 in G minor, Op. 32
Alan Morrison, organ 

Tickets: $35, available from the Curtis Patron Services Office at (215) 893-7902 or www.curtis.edu.

Alan Morrison holds the Haas Charitable Trust Chair in Organ Studies.

The Curtis Presents season is sponsored by Blank Rome LLP.




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