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Organ Recital Series – Christopher Houlihan

January 22, 2017

4:00 pm

Our organ recital series features some of the finest organists playing one of America’s great organs. Our organist today is Mr. Christopher Houlihan.

About the program

Mr. Houlihan will play works by Louis Vierne, César Franck and Olivier Messiaen.

About the recitalist

The young American musician Christopher Houlihan is widely acknowledged as one of the brightest stars in the new generation of organists, praised by the media as “gifted” (New York Times), “dazzling” (Wall Street Journal), and “eloquent” (Los Angeles Times). Houlihan has established an international reputation for his artistry with performances in celebrated venues in major cities across North America and Europe, as well as at numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society.

Highlights from the 2015-2016 season included debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., presented by the National Symphony Orchestra, and at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2014, Houlihan made his Disney Hall debut, performing with principal brass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for which the Los Angeles Times raved, “Houlihan is the next big organ talent.” Also in 2014, Houlihan performed in a prime-time slot of WQXR’s All-Day Bach Organ Marathon in New York City. Spanning 18 hours, the marathon was webcast live and seen by thousands.

In the 2016-2017 season, Houlihan performs recitals across the country, including at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, a return to Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, Ohio, and the closing concert at the American Guild of Organists Southeast Regional Convention. He performs concertos with the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra (Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3) and the Boston Chamber Orchestra (Organ Concerto by Robert Edward Smith), and takes part in the opening concert of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival where he serves as one of the competition judges. Houlihan’s performance schedule also includes recitals in New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio.

In fall of 2016, Houlihan releases a new all-Bach organ CD on the Azica label. Recorded at Trinity College, the CD features Bach’s famous Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor and Houlihan’s own arrangement of Bach’s Italian Concerto, BWV 971. Houlihan’s recordings include music of Maurice Durufle and Jehan Alain, and Organ Symphony No. 2 by Louis Vierne, both on Towerhill Records.

Christopher Houlihan’s “Vierne 2012” tour attracted international attention and critical acclaim for his marathon performances of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne in six major North American cities. The Los Angeles Times called his performance there “a major surprise of the summer, a true revelation.” Other recent seasons included performances in New York City, Dallas and San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall.

Houlihan studied with Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School, where he earned a master’s degree, with John Rose at Trinity College (Hartford), and Jean-Baptiste Robin at the French National Regional Conservatory in Versailles. In 2015 he was selected for The Diapason’s “20 Under 30”, a distinguished list of leaders in the organ world under the age of 30. Christopher Houlihan is Director of Music and Organist at The Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan and Artist-in-Residence at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

This recital is co-presentation with the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

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Grace Cathedral


$10 donation requested


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