Concertsat First Church

Mar 4

Dexter Kennedy Organ Recital – Mar 4

4pm

On Sunday, March 4, at 4 p.m. American organist Dexter Kennedy presents an organ recital on First Church’s two magnificent pipe organs. As the winner of the Grand Prix d’Interprétation at the 24th Concours International d’Orgue de Chartres, Dexter Kennedy has established himself internationally as “one of the greatest organists of our times” (Iceland Monitor). Praised for his “prodigious technique and grand style musicality” in The American Organist, his concert programs present performances that are fiery and historically informed, exciting both music connoisseurs as well as people who have never experienced the organ in concert setting. In addition to concertizing, Dexter Kennedy currently serves on the music faculty of the College of Wooster as Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord.

Mr. Kennedy is an active recitalist throughout both Europe and North America, having performed in great cathedrals, churches, and concert halls including: Washington National Cathedral; St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, New York; Old West Church, Boston; St. Joseph Cathedral, Columbus; the University of Calgary; Berliner Dom; Chartres Cathedral; Slovak Philharmonic Hall, Bratislava; Chichester Cathedral; Hallgrimskirkja,Reykjavik; Basilica of St. Nazaire, Carcassone, France; Auditorio Manuel de Falla, Granada; Santa Rita da Cascia, Turin; St. Willibrordus Basilika, Echternach, Luxembourg; and St. Andreas Kyrka, Malmö, Sweden; His performances have been heard recently at two regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Aosta Valley Organ Festival, the Calgary Organ Festival, and the 51st Bratislava Music Festival.

In 2015 he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra for two subscription concerts at Tanglewood with maestros Bramwell Tovey and Ludovic Morlot. His playing has been broadcast nationally on the American Public Media’s Pipedreams program. Highlights of Kennedy’s busy 2016-2017 season include recitals at Strasbourg Cathedral; the Abbey of St.Etienne, Caen; the Canadian International Organ Competition Festival (Montreal); the 2017 Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians in Toledo; the St. Albans International Organ Festival; as well as recitals in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Louisville, and Florida. His summer 2017 schedule featured his début recital in South America at the Catédral Primada of Bogotá, and a European tour marked by performances at the Cathedral of Orléans, Zürich Grossmünster, the Église Française in Bern, the Bergen International Organ Festival, and on the 1738 Christian Müller organ of the Bavokerk Haarlem. In 2018 he will make his solo recital debut at Notre- Dame de Paris.

A devoted church musician, Kennedy currently serves as the Assistant Organist of Christ Church Grosse Pointe (Michigan) where he serves as the principal organist for all choral services and concerts and directs the training of the novice boy and girl choristers. He traveled with the Christ Church Choir of Men and Boys to England and Wales in the summer of 2014, and with the Christ Church Choir of Men and Girls to Spain in 2016. A planned trip with the Christ Church Schola during the summer of 2017 is marked by choral residencies at Salisbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Additional choir tours as a freelance accompanist have taken Kennedy to the organ benches of St. Peter’s Basilica; La Sagrada Familia; Stephansdom, Vienna; St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin; and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Kennedy’s previously held positions include Director of Music and Organist for Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s on the Green Episcopal Church, Norwalk, CT, and Organist for Marquand Chapel, Yale Divinity School.

Dexter Kennedy holds the Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of James David Christie. He holds a Master of Music Degree from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, where he was a recipient of the Robert Baker Award, as well as the Mary Baker Prize for Excellence in Organ Accompaniment. Kennedy has also studied under Olivier Latry, Martin Jean, Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation), Arthur Haas and Webb Wiggins (harpsichord), and has attended several international organ festivals where he has coached with many distinguished European artists. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and vigorously rooting for the professional sports teams in his native Detroit. More information about Kennedy and his schedule can be found at his website, www.dexterkennedy.com.