Organ Festival Canada: Hamilton 2021 will feature 16 concerts over 6 days. The starting times of the
performances will be published in early August. Tickets to all concerts are $15 each. PLEASE NOTE:
You will have access to the concerts you have purchased tickets for until September 30th.
Sunday August 8
Cathedral Church of St. James
Matthew Larkin – Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto
- Toccata “Exultemus Domino” – Tate Pumfrey
Apparition de L’Église Éternelle – Olivier Messiaen
Rhapsodie on “All creatures of our God and King” – Gilles Maurice Leclerc
Hymn of Remembrance – Keith Jarrett (arr. Per W. Ohls)
Saraband (In Modo Elegiaco) – Herbert Howells
Toccata (from Toccata and Fugue) – Andrew Ager
Two contemporary Canadian toccatas frame a modern program, rooted in the joyful key of C. Longtime liturgical artist Matthew Larkin celebrates ceremony and ritual, on one of Canada’s most beautiful instruments, in one of the country’s most beautiful sacred spaces.
National Organ Playing Competition Semi-finals
Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church
Five semi-finalists will perform on the 2018 Wallace tracker organ at Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church. While the choice of repertoire is up to the individual competitor, the programme must include a piece by a Canadian composer and a work by Johann Sebastian Bach. For details of the players, programmes, and jury members, visit the competition website:
Monday August 9
South Main Baptist Church
David Enlow – St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, New York City
- Marche Religieuse – Félix-Alexandre Guilmant
Choral No. 2 in B Minor – César Franck
Variations sur un Noël – Marcel Dupré
This is the largest organ in New York City, with 205 ranks, in a wonderful acoustic. David Enlow is a consummate musician, who has performed all over the world.
Andrew Adair – Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto
- Five Plainsong Preludes – Healey Willan
- Aeterna Christi munera
- Christe, Redemptor omnium
- Ecce jam noctis
- Ave maris stella
- Urbs Hierusalem beata
Willan composed these pieces for this organ. During his tenure at St. Mary Magdalene, he had the console moved into the choir loft, as well as adding a Tuba to the existing 27 ranks. Although the organ has since been enlarged to 51 stops, Andrew Adair as the resident organist is highly sympathetic to Willan’s style. Hear these preludes in a performance very much in the spirit of the composer.
Isabelle Demers – Baylor University, Waco & South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas
- Overture (St. Paul) – Felix Mendelssohn, tr. Best
- The Firebird Suite – Igor Stravinsky, tr. Demers
- L’oiseau de feu et sa danse (Dance of the Firebird)
- Variation de l’oiseau de feu (Firebird Variation)
- Ronde des princesses (Round Dance of the Princesses)
- Danse infernale du roi Kastcheï (Infernal Dance of King Kastchei)
Mendelssohn’s Overture from St. Paul is a dramatic piece that makes technical demands on the player, and will be played on the Letourneau organ at Baylor University. Stravinsky is not often attempted on the organ, but Isabelle Demers has created a transcription of his second suite from 1919. This exciting and sensuous music will be performed at South Main Baptist in Houston on the 85 rank Nichols & Simpson organ.
Tuesday August 10
Holy Family Church
Aaron James – Holy Family Church, Toronto
- Ciaccona – Bernardo Storace
- Mein Gott, das Herze bring’ ich dir – Johann Schneider
Trio super “O Gott, du frommer Gott” BWV Anh i.V. – Johann Sebastian Bach
Toccata nona – Georg Muffat
Accomplished organist Aaron James will perform an intriguing programme of Baroque music on an instrument well-suited to sensitive and informed performance.
Jean-Willy Kunz – CIOC Bach-Mobile at Zoo de Granby – Granby, Quebec
- Le Carnaval des animaux – Camille Saint-Saëns, tr. Kunz
- Introduction et Marche royale du lion (Introduction and Royal March of the Lion)
- Poules et Coqs (Hens and Roosters)
- Hémiones (Wild Donkeys)
- Tortues (Tortoises)
- L’Éléphant (The Elephant)
- Kangourous (Kangaroos)
- Personnages à longues oreilles (Characters with Long Ears)
- Le Coucou au fond des bois (The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Woods)
- Volière (Aviary)
- Pianistes (Pianists)
- Fossiles (Fossils)
- Le Cygne (The Swan)
- Final (Finale)
Jean-Willy Kunz has created a very successful transcription of Saint-Saëns’ beloved music. He will perform this outdoors at Granby Zoo on the new Bach-Mobile, which is used in and around Montreal to publicize the organ and the Canadian International Organ Competition (CIOC). This performance will also include poetic introductions.
Wednesday August 11
Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate
Ottawa Bach Choir – De Mazenod Chapel – Saint Paul University, Ottawa
- Jauchzet dem Herrn – Johann Pachelbel
Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 – Johann Sebastian Bach
- Requiem aeternam (from Missa pro defunctis) – Jean Richafort
- La nuit froide et sombre – Orlande de Lassus
- Sailor’s Carol – Matthew Larkin
- Dona nobis pacem (from Mass in B Minor, BWV 232) – Johann Sebastian Bach
- Gloria Patri, et Filio (from Dixit Dominus, HWV 232) – George Frideric Handel
Directed by Dr. Lisette Canton, this remarkable choir won a Juno Award in 2020, and has performed several times by invitation at Bachfest Leipzig, as well as in a dozen other European cities, plus China, other East Asian locales, and the USA. This programme will include Renaissance, Baroque and Modern music from the OBC’s two 2020-2021 performances. In addition, two superb virtual choir renditions of music by J.S. Bach will be featured. The concert will conclude with the final movement of Handel’s epic Dixit Dominus from the OBC’s Juno-winning CD recording.
Performances & Interview
Angela Hewitt with Ian Alexander – Umbria, Italy & Oratorio di San Francesco dei Nobili – Perugia, Italy
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – J.S. Bach, tr. Hess
Passacaglia in C Minor, BWV 582 – Bach, tr. d’Albert
Angela Hewitt is one of the world’s busiest pianists. She has graciously agreed to be part of OFC 2021, as an Honorary Patron of the RCCO. She will offer an exciting glimpse of her new Fazioli concert grand piano in Umbria, and will perform a stunning piano transcription of Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor amidst the Baroque luxury of the Oratorio di San Francesco dei Nobili in Perugia, Italy. She will also be interviewed by her long-time friend Ian Alexander, talking about her life and music.
David Simon – Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Guelph
- Rhapsody No. 1 – Herbert Howells
Symphony No. 5 (First Movement) – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, tr. Simon
Rhapsody No. 3 – Howells
David Simon won the 2019 National Organ Playing Competition, and will demonstrate his terrific technique in this challenging, emotional and dramatic programme, performed on a vintage Casavant with a rich variety of colours, including some modern upgrades.
Duo Majoya & Mark Segger, Timpanist – West End Christian Reformed Church, Edmonton
- Piece Concertante for Organ, Piano and Timpani – Jacobus Kloppers
Dr. Kloppers wrote this music originally for organ, strings, and timpani, but for this performance by Duo Majoya, he re-cast the string parts for piano. This exciting, lyrical and rhythmic arrangement showcases the talents of a fine Canadian composer and three of Edmonton’s top performers.
Thursday August 12
Christ’s Church Cathedral
Michael Bloss – Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton
- Scherzetto (Pièces en style libre) – Louis Vierne
Preludio, Intermezzo & Toccata (Deuxième Symphonie Op.26) – Marcel Dupré
Michael Bloss offers some classic French late Romantic music, played on the splendid Casavant in Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton.
National Organ Playing Competition Finals
Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton
Three finalists will perform a programme of 40-45 minutes, including a newly commissioned piece by Hamilton composer John Laing. They are competing for $8,500 in prizes. The jury will consist of Michael Bloss, Isabelle Demers, David Enlow, John Laing, and Patricia Wright.
Friday August 13
Rachel Mahon – Coventry Cathedral, UK
- Sinfonia from Cantata 29, “Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken” – J.S. Bach, arr. Guilmant
Trio from Triptyque – Jean Langlais
- Chant de paix – Langlais
- Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue – Healey Willan
Rachel Mahon is well known in the Canadian organ world, and was appointed Director of Music at Coventry Cathedral in 2020. The fine organ there was largely paid for by donations from the RCCO, spearheaded by Healey Willan, as the modern cathedral rose from the ruins following the destruction of war. Rachel is delighted to include Willan’s monumental I P & F in her programme.
Norman Reintamm – St. Joseph’s Church, Hamilton
- Chorale (Homage to César Franck) – John Selleck
Prelude, Fugue & Toccata on “Go to Sleep, Baby” – Philip Forde (world premiere)
St. Joseph’s Church houses a large two-manual Casavant in a very good acoustic. Norman Reintamm will perform a Chorale by John Selleck, a modern Canadian composer, and premiere a work by Philip Forde, his colleague in Barbados.
Rachel Laurin – St. Clement Parish at Église Ste Anne, Ottawa
- Omaggio Festivo, Op.89 – Rachel Laurin
Prelude in D – Daniel Ficarri
- Bagatelle Burlesque, Op.98 “Hommage à Beethoven” – Laurin (world premiere)
- III: Tempo di Minuetto (Septième Sonate) “Hommage à Haydn” – Raymond Daveluy
- Chromatic Trio, Op.64 (Twelve Short Pieces, Vol.3) – Laurin
- V: Paraphrase-Carillon (L’Orgue Mystique, No.35, Op.57 – In Assumptione B.V.M.) – Charles Tournemire
For the final concert of the Festival, Rachel Laurin will perform three of her own compositions, plus one by her late mentor Raymond Daveluy and another by a young American composer, finishing with some joyous Tournemire.
The Festival schedule is subject to change without notice.