Nationally Syndicated 'Pipedreams' Radio Program to Feature St. Thomas' Gabriel Kney Organ

“Pipedreams,” the widely syndicated radio program distributed by American Public Media, is devoting its next broadcast to the University of St. Thomas’ Gabriel Kney pipe organ.

Over the past year the university sponsored a series of recitals and concerts to mark the 25th anniversary of the organ, which was installed in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas and dedicated in 1987.

The “Pipedreams” radio program, hosted by Michael Barone, will feature excerpts from the large archive of concerts recorded in the chapel over the past quarter century.

The program is being released nationally the week of Nov. 4 and can be heard locally from 6 to 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, on KSJN, the Minnesota Public Radio classical music station found at 99.5 on the FM dial.

Also, beginning Monday afternoon, Nov. 4, the show also will be available for listening at any time on the Pipedreams’ website. The program will remain there indefinitely.

Gabriel Kney

Organ designer Gabriel Kney, of London, Ontario, in front of the organ he designed in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. (Photo by Thomas Whisenand)

The production includes two pieces, “Veni, veni Emmanuel” and “Veni Creator Spiritus,” performed in 2005 by Dr. James Callahan, a composer and St. Thomas professor emeritus of music who taught piano, organ, composition, music theory and piano literature.

The two-hour program, titled “Kney Sayers” (#1344), will present excerpts from 11 recitals performed on the Kney organ. A list of the works and who played them also can be found on the Pipedreams’ website.

The organ was a gift from St. Thomas 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 and that concert also is available for listening on the Pipedreams’ website.

The list of recitalists who have performed on the Kney organ includes international artists Ulrich Böhme, Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet, László Fassang, Jean Gillou, Martin Haselböck, Nicholas Kynaston, Olivier Latry, Peter Planyovsky and Dong-il Shin. American artists in the series have included Diane Bish, James David Christie, Robert Glasgow, Gerre Hancock, David Hurd and Joan Lippincott.

Their performances have been featured in many previous “Pipedreams” programs and the instrument has been showcased at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.  Selections from many of these other concerts can be accessed via the show's 'Gallery' page for St. Thomas’ Kney organ.

For more information about the instrument, visit