ABOUT SHCM-OAC

Organ Art Center at Shanghai Conservatory of Music

The Organ Art Center at Shanghai Conservatory of Music was established in 2015. With the full support of talents and resources of the Organ major at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the Organ Art Center is aimed to be the center for international Organ interaction, the engine for Organ education in China, and the interactive platform for international conservatories and music institutes. The missions of the Organ Art Center include: being a first-class Organ Art Center by recruiting outstanding Organ faculty and educating fine Chinese Organists; promoting “professional training, art performing, academic and international interaction” with the help of its international faculty team; promoting Organ art culture by hosting domestic and international Organ festivals, competitions and master classes; and being an academic center for Organ art by drafting and editing Organ textbooks and researching on Organ music history.

lEADING MEMBER

Lei Zhu
Professor at Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Masters of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music


Lei Zhu, Concert Organist and Electornic Organist; Professor, graduate tutor and Chairman of Modern Instrumental and Percussion Department at Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Chairman of Shanghai Conservatory of Music Organ Arts Center; President of American Guide of Organists (AGO), Shanghai Chapter; President of China National Academic Association of Electronic Organ Education; Vice President of Electronic Keyboards Institute of Chinese Musicians Association.

He has been awarded the Seventh Qu Yongxi Excellent Music Education Award issued by the Teaching Division of Ministry of Culture of China; Baosteel Education Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award; Shanghai Conservatory of Music Dean Award; Shanghai Conservatory of Music Outstanding Teacher Award; He Luting Fund Award; Manhattan School of Music Bronson Ragan Award, and Shanghai Pujiang Program Fund.

He received a Masters of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music. He has performed around world. Numerous of his music, arrangements and recordings have been released and published in China. Many of his students have won awards, grants, and top prizes in national and international competitions. He has made significant contributions to the development of Organ and Electronic Organ music in China.

Dan Wu
Organ lecture at Shanghai Conservatory of Music

Organ Masters Graduate from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


Organ Masters Graduate from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Organ Lecturer of Modern Instruments & Percussion Department, Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

1992-1998:Studied and graduated from attached middle school of Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China.


2002: Being an organ teacher of Modern Percussion Instrument Department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China.

2008-2010:Studied in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for MMus Degree.

Dan Wu has performed recitals many times as soloist and accompanist in major concert halls including NCPA, Forbidden City Concert Hall Beijing, Gulangyu Concert Hall, Henan art Center, He Luting Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center. She also played the organ for an organ music documentary for Shanghai Oriental TV station.

In addition, she has coached many excellent talents who had won numerous awards in the international competitions, and many of them were get the chance go to the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France for further studies. As the outstanding achievements in teaching, Wu has won the Shanghai Conservatory President Award and Outstanding Teacher Award. After returning from overseas in 2010, she was committed to the cause of the organ with the study of Chinese education and development projects.

Qi Zhang
Organist

Doctor of Musical Arts & Master of Music Degree, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music


Born in Shanghai, China in 1984, Qi Zhang has been a public performer since she was nine years old. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Electronic Organ (an instrument which has contemporary synthesizer and orchestral sounds) at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2007. Her studies with Professor Lei Zhu, Chair of the Department of Modern Instruments and Percussion at the Conservatory, included performance and arranging for the Electronic Organ. She has won several First Prizes in competitions including the International Electronic Organ Competition in Spain (2004) and the Oriental Youth Stars Art Series Competition in Beijing plus the Best Performance Award, Youth Group (2005). Shortly thereafter she came to the United States to study the pipe organ with Professor Cherry Rhodes at University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. She received the Master of Music degree (2009), Graduate Certificate (2011) and Doctor of Musical Arts degree (2015) from USC. Upon completing the Master degree, she received the distinction as the Outstanding Graduate at the master’s level of the entire Thornton School of Music in 2009. She also received the Organ Department Awards in 2009 and 2015. Her longtime passion to compose led her to study over several years with Dr. Frederick Lesemann, Mark Weiser (USC); Jean Guillou and Dr. James Hopkins (private sessions).

In 2009 Qi Zhang had the honor of giving the opening performance of the conference, TEDxUSC (Technology, Entertainment and Design) hosted by the University of Southern California. Following this performance, USC President Steven Sample invited her to perform on the Electone instrument as featured soloist for the closing banquet of the USC Trustees retreat. During that same year she was given a scholarship to work on composition with Jean Guillou in Paris after which she performed an organ recital at Église Saint-Eustache which included the European premiere of her piece, Symphony in the Teapot. In 2010 Ms. Zhang performed with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and upon request, performed Symphony in the Teapot in the final concert of the Philharmonic’s season at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. She participated in the organ concert “The Tribute to Organ,” that was part of the 32nd Shanghai Spring International Music Festival at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center in 2015.

The compositions of Qi Zhang have been heard in the United States, Europe and Asia. Edition Schott published her Symphony in the Teapot in May 2012. In the same year, she was invited to compose a piano piece celebrating the 70th birthday of Dr. Peter Hanser-Strecker, the CEO of Edition Schott. Qi Zhang’s Dance of the White Horse is included in Dances of Our Time, a collection of 70 new piano pieces written by composers from 26 countries under the Petrushka Project. Edition Schott published this collection in October 2012.

WENCHUN JIANG
Organist

Master of Music Degree,Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon


WENCHUN JIANG is a professional Organist who received her Master of Organ degree from Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon (“CNSMD”). Ms. Jiang started studying music when she was four years old. At the age of thirteen, Ms. Jiang went to the Music High School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music to study piano and electronic organ from Chinese Organists Lei Zhu and Dan Wu. During high school, she participated in the UK Open Electronic Organ Competition 2006 and won the first prize in the junior group. In 2007, Ms. Jiang went to the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College, U.S. to study Pipe Organ with David Boe, a well-respected American Organist and emeritus professor of Organ at Oberlin College. Ms. Jiang was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship while she studied at Oberlin. Afterwards, she furthered her Organ training in France and received Diplôme d'études musicales in 2011. In the same year, Ms. Jiang was admitted to CNSMD, becoming the first Chinese student in its Pipe Organ master degree program. While in France, she studied with François Espinasse (Organist at de Palais de Versaille and emeritus professor of CNSMD de Lyon), Michel Bouvard (a well-known Organist and professor of CNSMD de Paris), Johann Vexo (Organist at Notre Dame de Paris and professor of Angers Conservatory of Music) and Jan Willem Jansen (professor of Organ at Toulouse Conservatory of Music).

Ms. Jiang has held more than thirty recital and ensemble concerts, both domestically and internationally. In 2015, Ms. Jiang was invited to perform Organ at Notre Dame de Paris during Paris Music Day. In the same year, Ms. Jiang held another two concerts at Shanghai Oriental Art Center. In 2016, Ms. Jiang was invited by Yves Rechesteiner, Chairman of Toulouse International Organ Festival to perform a recital in series of “Jeune Talent”. In 2016, Ms. Jiang held more than ten concerts at world-class concert halls such as Le Temple de l'Etoile in Paris, Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere in Lyon, Saint-Francois-des-sale de Lyon, Eglise Saint Pothin, Auditorium de Lyon and Notre Dame de St-Etienne etc.

Ms. Jiang is currently working at the Organ Art Center of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is also a member of American Guild of Organists.

Jinlei Hu
Organist

Master of Music Degree, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover


Bachelor in Shanghai Conservatory Of Music and Master in Hochschule für Musik ,Theater und Medien Hannover. Organ Art Center of Shanghai Conservatory of Music member.

She was born in 1989. She started learning electronic pipe organ from professor Zhu Lei since she was 9 years old. She admitted to Music Middle School Affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory Of music and Shanghai Conservatory Of Music, and learned from professor Zhu Lei and teacher Wu Dan. She also participated in domestic and international competitions many times during her study. In 2010, she participated in the 5th Festival series-UK Electronic Organ Competition in Britain, and won the second prize of adult group.

In 2012, she was admitted to Hochschule für Musik ,Theater und Medien Hannover with excellent grade, and became the first master of Chinese classical pipe organ player since the founding of the university. She studied classical pipe organ and orgelkunde under professor Hans Christoph Becker-foss who is a German pipe organ player and conductor, and she also studied pipe organ improvisation and modern music playing under professor Emmanuel Le Divellec who is a French pipe organ player. And studied orgelbau course under Jörg Bente who is a German orgelbaumeister .At the same time, she minored in harpsichord from Eckhart Kuper who is a harpsichord player in Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig and Hochschule für Musik, Tsheater und Medien Hannover. She guided by Louis Robilliard ,Wolgang Rübsam,Thierry Mechler of pipe organ.

During the period of studying in Germany, she held a personal solo concert, chamber music concert etc many times in different churches and music halls and won unanimous applause from the audience. Paticipate in the 32th Shanghai Spring International Music fesival in 2015-"The tribute to organ".

Lizao Wang
Organist

Master of Music Degree,Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University


Born in China in 1989, Lizao Wang started playing the piano at age of 4. At 2001, she entered attached middle school of Wuhan Conservatory of Music, studying Electone with Bo Zhu. From 2007-2011, she received her undergraduate education at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she studied electronic organ under Meng Zeng, Lei Zhu and Dan Wu. During her college study, she received “People’s Scholarships” three times. In August 2010 she won the third prize in the adult group and the Chinese Work Performance Prize in the 2010 national “Ringway” electronic organ competition.

After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in 2011, she came to America to pursue the study of Pipe Organ with the president of AGO(American Guild of Organist) Dr. John Walker in Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. In her graduate years, Her performances include organ concert “The Tribute to Organ” at Shanghai Oriental Art Center concert hall, Baltimore 2015 Artscape Festival at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church and organ recitals at Zion Lutheran Church of Baltimore, St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland and the First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown, New Jersey. At 2012, she joined American Guild of Organist Baltimore Chapter; at 2016, she helped to build the Shanghai Chapter of America Guild of Organist, served as secretary. In the summer of 2016, she received graduate performance diploma and master degree at Peabody institute. She was awarded with Bruce R. Richer Prize in Organ at graduation.

Now She is in Sacred Music department of Westminster Choir College, studying with Daryl Robinson. She is the church organist at Moorestown First Presbyterian church in New Jersey。

VISITING PROFESSOR

Paul Jacobs
PROFESSOR

President of the Jury, Chairman of Organ Department at The Juilliard School.


The only organist ever to have won a Grammy Award (in 2011 for Messiaen’s towering “Livre du Saint-Sacrement”), Paul Jacobs is currently chair of the organ department at Juilliard. An eloquent champion of his instrument who argues that the organ for too long has been excluded from the mainstream of classical music, Paul Jacobs is known for his imaginative interpretations of an unusually large repertoire, old and new. He has also been an important influence in the revival of symphonic music featuring the organ.

Paul Jacobs made his mark early on with landmark performances of the complete works for solo organ by J.S. Bach and Messiaen, as well as works by many other composers. Mr. Jacobs made musical history at the age of 23 when he played Bach’s complete organ works in an 18-hour marathon performance on the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. A fierce advocate of new music, Jacobs has premiered works by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, Wayne Oquin, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Rouse, and Christopher Theofanidis, among others. As a teacher he has also been a vocal proponent of the redeeming nature of traditional and contemporary classical music, which he fears is being diluted in a popular culture.

Mr. Jacobs has played in all 50 states, and as a soloist, he has performed with nearly every major U.S. orchestra, including with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Pacific Symphony.

Born 1977 in Washington, Pennsylvania, Mr. Jacobs studied at the Curtis Institute of Music, double-majoring with John Weaver for organ and Lionel Party for harpsichord, and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. He joined the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2003, and was named chairman of the organ department in 2004, one of the youngest faculty appointees in the school’s history. Jacobs was the first organist to be given the Harvard Musical Association's Arthur W. Foote Award in 2004. He received the Yale School of Music's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005, and in 2007 he was awarded the William Schuman Scholars Chair at the Juilliard School.

John Walker
PROFESSOR

President of American Guide of Organists, Professor at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.


John Walker is Minister of Music Emeritus at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and a member of the organ faculty at Peabody Conservatory of Music, following earlier positions at Shadyside Presbyterian Church and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and at The Riverside Church and Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has recently served as Artist-in-Residence at Church of the Redeemer and as interim Director of Music/Organist at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore.

John Walker has performed in recital and as concerto soloist throughout North America, Europe, and in Asia. He has appeared frequently with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas; with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Jahja Ling, conductor; and at conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Korean Association of Organists. On the eve of the millennium, John Walker appeared on nationwide television in Taiwan during a four-hour marathon concert at the National Concert Hall in Taipei. Pipedreams, the nationally syndicated program of Minnesota Public Radio, has often featured his performances. In October 2006 Pipedreams devoted its entire program to his performances, under the title “Walker on the Wild Side.”

John Walker earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stanford University, where he was Assistant University Organist. He holds two Master of Music degrees cum laude from American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where he later served as a member of the faculty. Dr. Walker was the 1984 alumni recipient of the Professional Achievement Award from Westminster College. In 1999 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and to perform in Taiwan.

A Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, John Walker is Past President of the AGO, having previously served as Vice President, Treasurer, and as Coordinator of two regional conventions. He has been performer and clinician at the Montreat, Mo-Ranch, Lake Junaluska, Westminster College, and Richner-Strong church music conferences. Heralded for his hymn playing, recently in Taiwan he was organist and conductor for two CD recordings of hymns sung in Mandarin and in Taiwanese. In 2015 he was Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, marking his 15th professional visit to Asia.

Jürgen Kursawa
PROFESSOR

Dean of Music Departement II at Robert Schumann University Düsseldorf, Director of the Intitute of Church Music.


Prof. Jürgen Kursawa was born in Bottrop, Germany in 1959. He studied church music, mathematics, pedagogy and Konzertexamen (Advanced Performance) in organ and piano at The University of Music and the Performing Arts in Cologne and Essen.

Since 1975, he has been a church musician in Bottrop, Cologne and Düsseldorf. From 1992-2000, he worked as a representative church musician in the region of Düsseldorf. Between 1996 and 1999, he taught organ performance and improvisation at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. In 2000, he became a titular organist at the Cathedral of Ruhr Bishopric where he worked as a coordinator of the Essen Cathedral Music as well. As a concert organist, he has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and the USA.

His concert activities extend the solo piano and organ performance as well as the areas of vocal, instrumental accompaniment and chamber music. Recent feature performances have included the collaboration with the Essen Philharmonic, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Mannheimer Streichquartett and so on. His CD recordings complement the broad spectrum of his activities. He has been invited internationally on regular basis as a lecturer of Masterclass in artistic organ playing and improvisation. He is active as a Jury member in various organ performance and improvisation competitions.

In 2007, Jürgen Kursawa joined the faculty of the Robert Schumann Hochschule Duesseldorf as Professor of the organ program, performance and Improvisation. Previous position has included Music Director at the historical Essen Cathedral where he actively directed the installing of the Cathedral organ. Prof. Jürgen Kursawa has been the Director of the Institute for Church Music since 2008 and the Dean of the Department of Music II at the Robert Schumann University of Duesseldorf since 2009.

Cherry Rhodes
PROFESSOR

Professor of Organ Department at University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.


CHERRY RHODES is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw.

CHERRY RHODES is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw.

CHERRY RHODES is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw.

CHERRY RHODES is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw.

CHERRY RHODES is the first American to win an international organ competition (Munich). During her brilliant career she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of America and Europe with recitals in cathedrals, churches, and concert halls, including Lincoln Center (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Performing Arts Center (Milwaukee), Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia), Royal Festival Hall (London), International Performing Arts Center (Moscow), Philharmonic Halls of Berlin, Dortmund, and Luxembourg, the Organ and Architecture Symposium, and the renowned International September Music Festival of Montreux-Vevey (Switzerland). Other international festivals include those of Paris (Notre Dame and St. Eustache), Munich, Freiburg, Nurnberg, St. Albans, Luxembourg, Vienna, Bratislava, Presov, Gdansk and Warsaw.

Ms. Rhodes is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Dr. Alexander McCurdy. She received Fulbright and Rockefeller grants for studies in Munich with Karl Richter and in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Guillou, who invited her to be his assistant for two years at St. Eustache.

Cherry Rhodes is Adjunct Professor of Organ at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. Many of her students have won awards, grants, and top prizes in competitions in the United States and Europe. A sought-after musician, she gives master classes and frequently serves as adjudicator for competitions in North America and Europe.

In 2015 Cherry Rhodes and her husband Ladd Thomas received The American Guild of Organists Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award.

David Hamilton
PROFESSOR

Professor at Music School of Douglas Academy and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Guest Professor at Shanghai Conservatory of Music.


David Hamilton is University Organist at Strathclyde University, home of the new Bach-style organ, built by Orgelbau Kögler.

He studied with Stuart Campbell at Glasgow University, Harald Vogel at the North-German Organ Academy and Jos van der Kooy at Zwolle Conservatory in the Netherlands.

He was a prizewinner at Royal College of Organists’ exams and at the European Organ Improvisation competition.

David is Director of Music at St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Hamilton, and teaches at the Music School of Douglas Academy and at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

He has performed throughout Europe and in North America, Russia and China, and is a Guest Professor at Shanghai Conservatory.

On the Divine Art label, he has recorded a Buxtehude CD at Aberdeen University, and a Bach disc at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh.

Thierry Mechler
PROFESSOR

Professor at University (Musikhochschule) in Cologne, Organist of the Philharmonie of Cologne, Germany.


Professor at University (Musikhochschule) in Cologne, Organist of the Philharmonie of Cologne, Germany.

In 1981, he won first prize with highest congratulations at the “Concours International de Paris”.
In 1984, he went to Paris to study with Marie-Claire Alain, where he won, in succession a gold medal and a first prize of excellence with congratulations from the jury.
In 1986, he won a laureate in improvisation and a first prize for virtuosity with congratulations from the jury in the concert class from Marie-Claire Alain in Paris.
He also studied the Art of improvisation with Jacques Taddei, and won the medal of honour at the contest for composition in Mulhouse.
In 1991 he was accepted in the S.A.C. E.M. as composer, also in 1991, he received the “Europäischen Förderpreis” in Dresden, as an award for his international carrier and many recordings.
From 1986 until 1989 he was organ master at the Conservatoire National of Annecy.
He is invited each year to numerous European Organ Festivals. As a renowned teacher and juror, he is invited every year to Germany, England, Finland, Island, USA, Korea and France to give masterclasses in various academies. He has made many recordings of which the reference can be found in the international catalogue.
Titular organist from the great organ of the Cathedral Primatial Saint-Jean in Lyon from 1991 until.
1999, curator and organist of the organ of the Auditorium Maurice Ravel in Lyon, an instrument previously the Cavaillé-Coll of the Trocadéro.
In 1998, he played all the Six Vierne Symphonies.
Member of the Jury of international Competitions, in 1998 Thierry Mechler became Professor for Organand Improvisation at the University (Musikhochschule) in Köln. Since 2002, Thierry Mechler is an organist and a curator of the prestigious Philharmonie of Cologne (Germany).
Thierry Mechler's career has taken him worldwide - both as organist and pianist. He has built a reputation as an exciting performer and improviser.
Fêted also as a composer, his " 6 Métamorphoses on B.A.C.H " Opus 14 was created at the Philharmonie of Cologne in January 2009.
2012, he played all 48 Preludes ans Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach at the Bach-Festival in Schauenberg.
2014 Thierry Mechler was appointed Cultural councillor of the city Guebwiller.
2016 he participated on the 30. anniversary of the Philharmonie in Cologne, with the world premiere audition of " I-FORMATION " for two orchestras and organ solo from Vito ZURAJ, with the Gürzenich orchestra, conducting by Francois-Xavier Roth and the Symphonic WDR orchestra conducting by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
Thierry Mechler is Knight in the French National Order of "Arts et Lettres".

Aude Heurtematte
PROFESSOR

Professor at Conservatory in Strasbourg, Organist of l'orgue historique de l'église Saint-Gervais à Paris.


Charles-Marie Widor, a famous French organist, composer and professor, he was born in Lyon, to a family of organ builders, and initially studied music there with his father, François-Charles Widor. In 1863 he studied in Brussels with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens for organ and with the elderly François-Joseph Fétis, director of the Brussels Conservatoire, for composition. At the 25-year-old Widor was appointed the organist of Saint-Sulpice in Paris in1870. Widor worked there nearly 64 years, until the end of 1933. The organ at St-Sulpice was Cavaillé-Coll's masterwork, the instrument's spectacular capabilities proved an inspiration to Widor. Most works of Widor were composed in this instrument.

The ninth symphony, respectively termed "Gothique" (Op. 70, of 1895) are much more introspective. It derived thematic material from plainchant. The second movement of the Symphony Gothique, entitled "Andante sostenuto", is one of the most-beloved pieces. He used the Christmas Day Introit "Puer natus est" in the third and fourth movements. It also honored, respectively, the Gothic Church of St. Ouen, Rouen.

Francois Espinasse
PROFESSOR

Organist in the Cathedral de Saint-Severin in Paris, Professeur of Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon


François Espinasse was born in 1961. He graduated from the Conservatoire de Toulouse, having studied the organ under Xavier Darasse. In 1980 he won first prize for a performance of organ music, and the next year he completed a course of study to improve his performing technique under André Isoir. He has been a prize-winner of international competitions in Toulouse (“contemporary music” category, 1986) and Musashino (Japan, 1988).

François Espinasse is organist at the Église Saint-Séverin in Paris; he also teaches at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon and is member of the National Commission for the Preservation of Historic Monuments (organ department). Recently he was appointed Organist "par quartiers" of the Royal Chapel at the palace of Versailles.

As a concert musician and guest teacher, François Espinasse has visited more than twenty countries. Moreover, he also sits on the juries of several international organ competitions. His recordings never fail to draw glowing praise from the critics.

A passionate admirer of contemporary music, Espinasse frequently performs works by living composers.

Hans Christoph becker-foss
Organist

Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, Conductor, Organist and Harpsichordist


Born: 1949 - Höxter, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

The German conductor and organist, Hans Christoph Becker-Foss, studied in Bremen church music (organ with Hans Heintze and Erich Ehlers, piano with Walter Bohle and Birgid von Rohden, choir directing with Uwe Gronostay, Gustav Leonhardt (Cembalo), Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Aufführungspraxis Alter Musik) and Guy Bovet (Orgelimprovisation and Interpretation altfranzösischer Orgelmusik). further training of accompaniment studies with Gustav Leonhardt).

From 1973 to 1979 Hans Christoph Becker-Foss was director of the Hastedter Kantorei in Bremen. Since 1979 Kantor of the Hamelner Marktkirche and Kreiskantor for the Kirchenkreis Hameln-Pyrmont. Building and developing of a widespread Kantor work; Performance of the oratorio repertoire from Monteverdi to Webber. Since 1993 he is in addition director of the Göttinger Vokalensemble.

In co-operation with the members of the Radio-Philharmonie Hannover and the NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Jenaer Philharmonie, Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz, Prager Symphonikern, Folkwang Kammerorchester Essen among others, Hans-Christoph Becker-Foss has performed the symphonic literature of Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Bruckner, Johannes Brahms, César Franck, Gustav Mahler and Paul Hindemith. He has conducted the Capella Classica in performances of works by W.A. Mozart, Haydn, L.v. Beethoven and Schubert as well as the Barockorchesters der Hamelner Kantorei.

In 1989 Hans Christoph Becker-Foss created together with the Bodenwerderaner Kreiskantorin Christiane Klein the summer Festival "Musikwochen Weserbergland" . Beside the Hamelner activities since 1980 he is organ lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, where he was appointed in 1993 as professor. Since 1987 he is "Orgelrevisor der Landeskirche" (organ examiner of the regional church) as well as increasing activity as an organ expert (town churches of Bückeburg and Stadthagen, Musikhochschule Trossingen, Stiftskirche Bad Ganders-heim, Klosterkirche Fischbeck, Ptotestan Dom in Warsaw).

Hans Christoph Becker-Foss is continuo player at the Sächsisches Barockorchester and in the Trio Lipsiensis with the bassist Gott-hold Schwarz and the gamba player Siegfried Pank. Concerts in his homeland and abroad as organist, harpsichordist, and conductor as well as course lecturer in organ, general bass and performance practice of early music. The 80-year anniversary of the "Bach-Kurse" brought many important meetings in the GDR in difficult times.

Hans Christoph Becker-Foss, in co-operation with Dr. Karl Wurm (Duderstadt) and the label "ambiente", has recorded series of 15 CD's playing on important organs in Lower Saxony. The album "Apparatus musico-organisticus" on the organ of Hamelner Marktkirche built by George Muffat in in 1690, was distinguished in 2001 with the prize of the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.

Ladd Thomas
PROFESSOR

Professor of Organ Department at University of Southern California Thornton School of Music.


LADD THOMAS has been presented in recitals and concerts throughout the United States, Canada, German, Austria, France, Poland, Yugoslavia, Italy and Mexico. Appearing in the famed music festivals of Spoleto, Italy and Dubrovnik, he has also been a featured recitalist at Bach Festivals in Honolulu and Carmel as well as national and regional conventions of The American Guild of Organists. He frequently appears with numerous ensembles playing continuo on both harpsichord and organ.

He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (in Ontario, Canada), Pasadena Chamber Orchestra, and the Pasadena, Long Beach and Glendale Symphony Orchestras, performing with conductors Zubin Mehta, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Christopher Seaman, Jorge Mester, William Hall, Roger Wagner, Richard Lert, Eduardo Mata, Boris Brott and Robert Duerr.

Dr. Thomas has recorded on London-Decca with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, on Angel with the Roger Wagner Chorale, on Summit with the Master Chorale of Orange County, on Owl and Klavier with the William Hall Chorale, and on Avant and Western International with the Los Angeles Brass Society and the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. He also has recorded for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount, Twentieth-Century Fox, Columbia and Universal Studios, and can be heard on many sound tracks including “Star Trek-The Movie,” “Ghost Story,” “Witches of Eastwick,” “Ironweed,” “Die Hard,” “Her Alibi,” “Beaches,” and “Home Alone,” with additional recordings having been made for network television. He has recorded for a documentary of the 1988 Winter Olympics for the Disney TV Channel and was heard as organist in the television production “Grace Kelly”, starring Cheryl Ladd, which aired internationally.

For the past fifty years, Ladd Thomas has been on the faculty of the University of Southern California. He is Emeritus Professor of Music and Chair of the Organ Department at the USC Thornton School of Music. Professor Thomas holds two degrees from Occidental College – a Bachelor of Arts and an honorary Doctor of Music (D. Mus.). He also received the degree, Master of Theology(M.Th.) from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. He studied piano with Helen McCreery, Gustav Riherd and Muriel Kerr, and organ with Max Miller, Marian Craighead, David Craighead and Clarence Mader.

In 1960, he accepted the position as organist of the First United Methodist Church of Glendale, California where he has served for fifty-seven years. During 1998-2007 he was also co-organist at Vallejo Drive Church of Seventh-day Adventists in Glendale. In 1985, his twenty-five years as organist of the First United Methodist Church of Glendale were recognized by the church with the establishment of the Ladd Thomas Fund for Church Music at the Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California.

In 2000, at the conclusion of forty years of service to the Glendale church, the fund was converted to the Ladd Thomas Scholarship for Church Music at the same school.

He has served the American Guild of Organists in various capacities at the local, regional and national levels. He was Dean of the Pasadena Chapter (1962-1964) and also of the Los Angeles Chapter (1999-2000). In 2010, he accepted a position on the Pasadena City College Foundation Board of Directors. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ruth and Clarence Mader Memorial Scholarship Fund, a California non-profit corporation, which awards scholarships nationally to young organists and composers and offers grants for research related to organs and organ music. He was a founding member and President of the Board of Directors for thirty-eight years.

In 2015, Dr. Thomas and his wife, Cherry Rhodes, received the American Guild of Organists Endowment Fund Distinguished Artist Award.

Wong Kin Yu
PROFESSOR

Faculty of Chinese University of HK, the HK Academy for Performing Arts, the Baptist University


Wong Kin Yu is an accomplished organist, piano accompanist and teacher in Hong Kong. She has given numerous organ recitals, piano duet/ organ duet recitals, organ and trumpet duo recitals and appears frequently as accompanist for singers and choirs. Besides performing in Hong Kong, she has performed as soloist and accompanist at major concert halls in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Beijing. In 2010, she has been invited to be a member of the judging panel for the 1st Beijing Organ Competition as well as to give master classes and organ recital at the Central Conservatory of Music. She has been the accompanist of the HK Oratorio Society for more than 20 years and has cooperated with many local choirs including the HK Bach choir and the HK Chamber choir in numerous performances. She has also served as the organist of the Kowloon Methodist Church for many years.

A graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Wong also holds the Diploma in Education (University of HK) and the LRSM, LRAM, ARCM diplomas in performance and teaching. After graduation, she pursued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London where she studied organ with Douglas Hawkridge and piano accompaniment with Geoffrey Pratley. She was awarded the Frederick Keene and Henry Richards organ prizes from the Academy. She has participated in master classes of world-renowned organists in the Netherlands, France, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.

At present, Wong teaches organ at the Chinese University of HK, the HK Academy for Performing Arts, the Baptist University, the Institute of Education and the Alliance Bible Seminary.