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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

PROG No. 1437
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1912 Kotzschmar Memorial Organ

Kotzschmar Goings and Comings

…we enjoy archive recordings of the renowned Kotzschmar Memorial Organ at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, in anticipation of the instrument's Grand Reawakening on September 27 following a major 2-year refurbishment.

PROG No. 1436
recent show graphic

2008 Alexander Schuke at Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany

Going On Record

…a selective international survey and review of some of the many recently released compact discs of organ music.

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Meet Michael!

Michael Barone makes personal appearances here and there, and would love to greet you at one of these upcoming events:

September 6, 2014
Wanamaker Organ Spectacular
Michael Barone is master-of-ceremonies for an extraordinary after-hours concert at Macy's Philadephia on Saturday, September 6, featuring soloist Peter Richard Conte and the Symphony in C conducted by Rossen Milanov.  Ticket information here.

September 19, 2014
Daryl Robinson at Bethel University, Saint Paul, MN
Michael Barone introduces and interviews recitalist Daryl Robinson during the free annual Organ Series Concert featuring the Blackinton pipe organ in Benson Great Hall.

September 28–30, 2014
Conference on Organ Music
As part of the 54th Annual Conference on Organ Music at the University of Michigan, Michael Barone presents a workshop session titled "So Little Time, So Much Music", a whirlwind sampler of some interesting and undeservedly neglected repertoire/performers.

You can 'meet Michael' in places that few have a chance to visit, inside the marvelous, magnificent and monumental Wanamaker Grand Court Organ at Macy's Philadelphia Department Store…via a superb behind-the-scenes visit with Wanamaker Organ curator Curt Mangel, via a detailed DVD that reveals much about this incredible music-making masterpiece.

Relive the Aural Fireworks!

If you're still in need of some aural fireworks, Pipedreams host Michael Barone returned as master-of-ceremonies for the annual Independence Day Organ Concert at Washington National Cathedral.  Enjoy the sound of the Cathedral's 10,647-pipe, 189-rank Skinner/Aeolian-Skinner organ heard in a variety of marches and patriotic music. The concert opens with Aaron Copland’s striking Fanfare for the Common Man and the singing of the National Anthem and includes appearances by the Washington Symphonic Brass and United States Navy Sea Chanters. Enjoy the audio and video from the archived 2014 program here as well as excerpts from 2011-2012-2013 July Fourth concerts featured in PIPEDREAMS Program #1426.

Also, if you missed out on the recent Organ Historical Society convention, you can relive one of the major evening concerts, the webcast of Christopher Houlihan's performance on the 1940 Aeolian–Skinner at Cornell's Sage Chapel!

Pipedreams Tour 2014: Historic Organs of Switzerland

[Organ Renovation]

The 2014 PIPEDREAMS tour group has returned from another adventure!  Our itinerary took us to Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva, Lucerne, and Zurich, with additional stops in Fribourg, Sion, Romainmotier, Neuchatel, Lutry, St. Urban and Einsiedeln, among others. We also visited the Museum of Mechanical Musical Instruments in Seewen and heard an instrument upon which famous composers and soloists from the past 'played' for us via organ-rolls!

Our special online diary includes many pictures and comments, with still more yet to be posted.  We invite you to share the delight of our journey on our FACEBOOK tour page!

An Amazing Organ Restoration Story:

[Organ Renovation]
On many occasions, PIPEDREAMS broadcasts have featured compact discs from the catalog of JAV Recordings. The inspiration for that catalog, and the devotion of its manager, was initiated years ago by the sound of a modest church organ in Brooklyn, an instrument that had been silent for more than a decade, but now lives again! The organ at Our Lady of Refuge Church is quite extraordinary, and its restoration revealed a surprisingly versatile instrument which, despite its modest specification, has been proven capable of playing a wide variety of music in an authoritative and compelling way. Check out a New York Times article about its restoration, enjoy the Brooklyn Daily newspaper coverage of its rededication, and listen to the organ put to the test by Olivier Latry as Father Michael Perry exhorts it to fulfill its destiny below, and follow the history of the project.



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Meet Michael!

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How does it work?

Behind the Facade:
A Listener’s Guide to the Pipe Organ

Bach n’ All...

Downloads are available of the complete Bach organ works played on historic instruments by James Kibbie of the University of Michigan.

Pictures from
past tours:

Purchase music from the program:

Premieres (CD 1001)


Live! (CD 1002)


Premieres Vol. 2 (CD 1003)


In the spotlight

Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America

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The American Organist
The American Organist Magazine

National broadcasts of Pipedreams are made possible with funding from Mr. and Mrs. Wesley C. Dudley, MAHADH Fund of HRK Foundation, by the contributions of listeners to American Public Media stations, and by the Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America, APOBA, representing designers and creators of fine instruments heard throughout the country, on the Web, and toll-free at 800-473-5270.