St. John’s Organ Society is pleased to announce the 26th Summer Recital Series on Maine’s largest 19th-Century tracker-action pipe organ, E. & G. G. Hook’s magnificent Opus 288, at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Bangor.
These hour-long recitals occur on Thursday evenings at 7:30. St. John’s Catholic Church is located at 207 York Street in Bangor. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Wolfgang Reisinger (Vienna, Austria)
The season opens on July 19th featuring Wolfgang Reisinger of Vienna, Austria performing music of Georg Muffat, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Schmidt, and his own improvisations.
Organist Wolfgang Reisinger (b. 1964 in Vienna) studied Church Music and Organ Performance at the Universities of Vienna and Kansas. He has also received doctorates in Organ Performance and Musicology. Wolfgang has led numerous Sacred Music Conferences in Austria and abroad and teaches organ and improvisation at the Vienna Church Music Conservatory. Between 2001 and 2003 he served as Director of Music at the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas. He has played concerts in most European countries, recently also at Notre-Dame de Paris, in the US, China, Russia, and Korea. He is also active as composer of church music and has received many commissions, especially for choral compositions. More information about him can be found at www.wolfgang-reisinger.org.
Francien Janse-Balzer (Weener, Germany)
The 26thseason of summer concerts continues on July 26 with Francien Janse-Balzer of Weener, Germany, who will perform a program of Dutch composers like Klaas Bolt and Jacques van Oortmerssen. She and Kevin Birch will also play music of Bach and Mozart for four hands, arranged by Dutch musicians.
Francien Janse-Balzer, born 1959 in Zutphen/Netherlands, studied church organ in Amsterdam with Klaas Bolt from 1977 to 1981. She continued her studies with Jacques van Oortmerssen and got her concert diploma in 1984. Furthermore she studied chamber music at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
From 1982 to 1993 she worked as a teacher for organ, piano and music theory at the Emsland Music school in Papenburg, Germany. Besides her teaching she continued her various activities as a concert and chamber musician.
In Weener, Germany she holds since the 1980’s a position as church musician and leader of the church choir at the local Lutheran church, and a position as an organist at the Arp- Schnittger-Organ of the local reformed church. She is also chairman of the promotion circle for the Organeum in Weener, an international acclaimed museum for organs and historic keyboard instruments.
Francien Janse-Balzer has in recent years given numerous recitals and made CD recordings as an organist, her musical repertoire reaches from early music to contemporary and jazz.
Abraham Ross (Oberlin, Ohio)
The season continues on August 2 with Abraham Ross of Oberlin, Ohio, who will perform music of Amy Beach, Rolande Falcinelli, and Joan Tower.
Abraham Ross performs regularly as a soloist and an ensemble player with special interests in early music and twentieth-century repertoire. In May 2018, he graduated with a Master of Music in Historical Performance at Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied organ with Jonathan Moyer and harpsichord with Mark Edwards. During his time in Oberlin, he served as Music Intern at Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, where he assisted in accompanying liturgies, conducting the Children’s and Chancel choirs, and engaging the local community with diverse musical offerings.
Abe commenced his study of organ with Kevin Birch at St John’s RCC in Bangor, Maine, playing the church’s 1860 E. G. & G. Hook organ. During this time, he developed an appreciation and a passion for historical instruments and early music. He went on to study as Organ at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. During this time, he studied under James David Christie, conducted research in early keyboard repertory, and performed throughout the Northeast.
Abe has been fortunate to encounter abundant opportunities for musical study and performance. In 2014, he was awarded a Mellon Grant to study seventeenth-century music with Francesco Cera in Rieti, Italy. A summer of study and research culminated in a presentation of Frescobaldi’s Messa della Madonna and the corresponding plainchantwithin a liturgy at Holy Cross. He went on to win first place in the Boston Chapter of the AGO’s Quimby Competition in 2015. Abe’s recent performance highlights include appearances at Universidad del Salvador (Buenos Aires, Argentina), First Church of Christ Scientist (Concord, NH), and Mechanics Hall (Worcester, MA). Abe looks forward to joining David Harris and the staff at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles this summer, where he will fill in as summer interim organist. Next fall, he will join the Chapel Music Program at Duke University, serving as an organ scholar for the 2018-19 academic year.
August 9 – Susan Ferré (Gorham, New Hampshire)
August 16 – Sarah Johnson (Boston, Massachusetts)
August 23 – William Porter (Rochester, New York)
August 30 – Season Finale – Opus 288 & Friends
Anatole Wieck – violin
Anna Maria Baeza – clarinet
Joachim Woitun – violoncello
Kevin Birch – organ