Concert Organist and Chartres Competition Winner Dexter Kennedy to Perform Here Oct. 9

Concert organist and competition winner Dexter Kennedy will present the season’s first concert of the University of St. Thomas’ Organ Artist Series on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Kennedy is the winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres. His concert, free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception.

An active recitalist throughout Europe and North America, Kennedy has performed in great cathedrals, churches and concert halls including: Washington National Cathedral; St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York; Old West Church, Boston; St. Joseph Cathedral, Columbus; the University of Calgary; Slovak Philharmonic Hall, Bratislava; Chichester Cathedral, U.K.; Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik; Basilica of St. Nazaire, Carcassone, France; Narbonne Cathedral; Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada; Santa Rita da Cascia, Turin; St. Willibrordus Basilika, Echternach, Luxembourg; St. Andreas Kyrka, Malmö, Sweden; and the Aosta Valley Organ Festival, Italy.

Future engagements include recitals at the Berliner Dom; Kaiserdom, Königslutter; the Skåne Organ Festival, Lund, Sweden; Chartres Cathedral; Strasbourg Cathedral; the Abbey of St. Etienne, Caen; the 2017 Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians; the 2017 St. Albans International Organ Festival, as well as recitals in Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 2018 he will play his debut recital at Notre-Dame de Paris.

Kennedy holds the artist diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, where he was a recipient of the Robert Baker Award as well as the Mary Baker Prize for Excellence in Organ Accompaniment.

He also serves on the music faculty of the College of Wooster and is assistant organist of Christ Church Grosse Pointe in Michigan.

Kennedy’s program at St. Thomas Oct. 9:

  • Bach, Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548
  • Trio super “Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend,” BWV 655
  • Mendelssohn, Andante with Variations
  • Ritter, Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 19
  • Pierné, Trois Pièces pour Grand Orgue à Pédales, Op. 29
  • Alain, Deuxième Fantasie
  • Litaize, Scherzo and Lied from Douze Pièces
  • Prèlude et Danse Fuguée

Kennedy will use the university’s chapel organ that was installed in 1987 thanks to a donation from alumnus Robert Asmuth. Built by Gabriel Kney of London, Ontario, the organ is a three-manual instrument with 41 stops of 56 ranks, with a total of 2,787 pipes. It is used for worship, teaching and concerts.

Its dedicatory recital was played by Swedish organist Hans Fagius on Sept. 20, 1987. Since then, the university’s Organ Artist Recital Series has become one of the premier pipe-organ concert series in the Twin Cities.

The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas is located at Cleveland and Laurel avenues on the university’s St. Paul campus. More information at the St. Thomas Music Department website or (651) 962-5850.