The Gabriel Kney pipe organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Recital Series Will Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Chapel’s Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ

The University of St. Thomas will host a series of five recitals and concerts to mark the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Gabriel Kney pipe organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, located on the university’s St. Paul campus.

The Sunday afternoon recitals, free and open to the public, are co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ Music Department and Campus Ministry.

The first recital will feature David Jenkins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16.  He will perform works of Nord Johnson, Rachel Laurin, Richard Voorhaar and the complete sixth organ symphony of Widor.

David Jenkins.

An organ instructor at St. Thomas, Jenkins earned the D.M.A. in organ performance and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied organ with Russell Saunders and harpsichord with Arthur Haas. He also holds degrees from the University of Iowa and Oberlin Conservatory.

The organ was installed in 1987 thanks to a donation 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.

Since then, the university’s Organ Artist Recital Series has become one of the premier pipe-organ concert series in the Twin Cities.

The list of recitalists 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. These concert performances have been featured many times on the “Pipedreams” radio program from American Public Media, and the instrument has been showcased at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.

The remaining four programs in the 25th anniversary series are:

  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, German artist Almut Roessler of Düsseldorf will perform a solo recital.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, organist Kraig Windschitl and the St. Thomas Schola Cantorum, directed by Aaron Brown, will perform organ music of J.S. Bach with Gregorian chant.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, 2013, French organist Michel Bouvard, professor of organ at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Music in Paris, will perform a solo recital.
  • 3 p.m. Sunday April 28, 2013, St. Thomas organists will present a concert with the university’s Liturgical Choir, directed by Aaron Brown.

The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas is located on the eastern side of the university’s campus, near the intersection of Cleveland and Laurel avenues.

For more information about the Gabriel Kney instrument, visit this website. For more information about the series, call (651) 962-5050.