Juilliard Organists Perform for "Pipedreams," Hosted By Michael Barone, on Tuesday, January 22 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall


Free Concert to be Taped for American Public Media Broadcast Features the Organ as Chamber Music Partner; Special Juilliard Concert is Part of "Pipedreams" 30th Anniversary Season

Start Date

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Press Release Images

Alice Tully Hall Kuhn Organ (Photo by Peter Schaaf)
Alice Tully Hall Kuhn Organ (Photo by Peter Schaaf)
Michael Barone, Host of Pipedreams
Michael Barone, Host of Pipedreams
Paul Jacobs, Chair of Juilliard's Organ Department (Photo by Nan Melville)
Paul Jacobs, Chair of Juilliard's Organ Department (Photo by Nan Melville)


Juilliard organists perform in a FREE concert at Alice Tully Hall on January 22 at 8 PM, hosted by Michael Barone of American Public Media (APM) and taped for broadcast on APM’s nationally-syndicated radio program Pipedreams later this season. In addition to solo works, the concert features the organ as chamber music partner in music ranging from the Baroque to 21st-century, including a transcription for solo organ of Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride, and a remarkable four-hand, four-foot version of Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. Mr. Barone will provide onstage commentary, a format familiar to those who’ve heard previous ‘live to tape’ special broadcasts of his program, aptly named Pipedreams Live!

FREE tickets for Juilliard Organists and Pipedreams are available beginning January 8, 2013 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM – 6 PM.  For more information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to http://events.juilliard.edu. 

Juilliard organists performing on the January 22 concert are: David Ball, David Crean, Michael Hey, Colin MacKnight, Griffin McMahon, Raymond Nagem, Benjamin Sheen, Janet Yieh, and Gregory Zelek, all of whom study with Juilliard Department Chair Paul Jacobs. They are joined by Juilliard instrumentalists, harpist Gwenllian Llyr, violinist Eric Silberger, percussionist Charles Rosmarin, oboist Harrison Linsey, and trumpeter Mikio Sasaki for a program featuring a diverse group of pieces, including transcriptions, repertoire staples, and the New York premiere of two 2007 works composed by NY-based composer Henry Martin, that are part of a major ongoing Pipedreams commission.

Repertoire honoring the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth, the 300th of German composer Johann Ludwig Krebs (a student of J. S. Bach), and the 350th of Tomaso Antonio Vitali are programmed, as is virtuosic music by Bach himself along with 20th-century French virtuoso, Pierre Cochereau. Works by three more 20th- and 21st-century composers – Paul Hindemith, Rachel Laurin, and retired Juilliard Organ Department Chair, John Weaver, complete the program.

(A full repertoire listing follows at the end of this press release.)

The Juilliard organists will perform on Alice Tully Hall’s refurbished Kuhn organ, which is the only pipe organ in a major New York City concert hall. This is the second time the Kuhn will be featured on Pipedreams since its reinstallation by Lincoln Center in the summer of 2010. That first broadcast, in March 2011, comprised a complete performance of Bach’s Clavier-übung III, as performed by Paul Jacobs at the organ’s re-inauguration. 

Pipedreams originated in January 1982 as a 14-program limited-release series of broadcast concerts recorded primarily at an American Guild of Organists national convention.  Based on the popular reception of those programs, and with access to further AGO and other live-concert materials, host-producer Michael Barone re-launched Pipedreams as a recurring weekly radio program in October 1983, and it has been on the air ever since. Pipedreams broadcasts that incorporate commentary from the stage interspersed with performance are broadcast with the name Pipedreams Live!, and previous successful events have taken place in in Dallas, Tallahassee, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids (MI), Indianapolis, Atlanta, Buffalo, Rochester (NY), New Brunswick, Queens, NY,  and most frequently in the program’s home area around the Twin Cities. This is the first Pipedreams Live! To be recorded in Manhattan.  In the metropolitan New York area, Pipedreams can be heard Sundays at midnight on WQXR-FM (105.9).  The program became internet-accessible in March 2000, and its archive of more than seven hundred 90-minute and 2-hour programs is available online, 24/7, at www.pipedreams.org.

Michael Barone, founder and on-air host of Pipedreams since its inception, is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where he studied with Haskell Thomson, and began his career in radio at the school’s student-run station, WOBC. He has been a staff member of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) since graduating from Oberlin in 1968.  He served as MPR Music Director for twenty-five years and continues as Senior Executive Producer.  He was host-producer of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra broadcasts from 1983-2004, and since 1998 has been the American voice for the popular Christmas Eve broadcasts of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge, England. He holds honors and awards from the American Guild of Organists (President’s Award, 1996), the Organ Historical Society (Distinguished Service Award, 1997), and received the Deems Taylor Broadcast Award for Excellence from ASCAP/American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (2001).  Mr. Barone was an advisor to the organ project for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles during its planning and construction phase. Since 2006, he has been consultant and ‘host’ to the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Recital Series at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and since 2012 fulfills a similar role for the Kansas City Symphony’s Organ Series at the Kauffman Center.

Paul Jacobs, chair of Juilliard’s organ department, is the only organ soloist ever to receive a Grammy Award (2011). He made musical history at the age of 23 when he performed the complete organ works of J.S. Bach in an 18-hour non-stop marathon performance, and subsequently has performed the complete organ works of Olivier Messiaen in nine-hour marathon concerts around the country. He had performed in all 50 states by the age of 31, and also has toured in Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia and appeared with major orchestras. A highlight of last season was his performances of Lou Harrison’s Organ Concerto with Percussion Orchestra with the San Francisco Symphony in San Francisco, and in New York at Carnegie Hall. This season, Mr. Jacobs returns to San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall for a performance of Bach’s monumental Clavier-übung III with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and performs this Bach work again in Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall in April, presented by the Pittsburgh Symphony. He joins Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony for a week of performances featuring the world premiere of Stephen Paulus’ Organ Concerto and performs the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony during a week with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, with an accompanying solo recital in the Segerstrom Concert Hall. He again plays Harrison’s Concerto in Miami Beach with the New World Symphony, and works by Bach, Elgar, and Boulanger in Benaroya Hall, in a recital presented by the Seattle Symphony. He also performs Alexandre Guilmant’s Symphony for Organ and Orchestra with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston. Internationally, Mr. Jacobs appears in Edmonton, Canada and at London’s Westminster Cathedral for the 2012 Grand Organ Festival.


A native of St. Louis, Missouri, David Ball is in his third year of the undergraduate program at Juilliard. He is the 2011 winner of the Kansas City AGO Chapter’s Competition for Young Organists and is the recipient of the rarely-conferred ‘Outstanding Student Award’ from the St. Louis Chapter of the AGO. In addition, Mr. Ball serves as the assistant musician at St. Malachy’s – The Actors’ Chapel in Times Square, and when in Saint Louis, serves as organ scholar and assistant musician at St. Luke the Evangelist Church. He has performed recitals in Atlantic City at the National Historic Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, and in San Francisco at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.


American organist David Crean is a doctoral candidate in organ at Juilliard where he studies with Paul Jacobs and teaches the organ literature survey course. He recently returned from his first international concert tour, a 10-day trip through eastern Australia, culminating in several performances for the St. Jude’s Music Association in Bowral, NSW. A native New Yorker, Mr. Crean holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Iowa, and has concertized throughout the United States. He also is in demand as a program annotator, and his articles have appeared in The American Organist.


Michael Hey is a fourth-year student at Juilliard. He presently serves as assisting organist at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. In November 2010, he gave his New York City debut at Lincoln Center performing a Handel organ concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan. In July 2011, Mr. Hey received first prize in the Region II Competition for Young Organists at the AGO Convention in Morristown, New Jersey and performed a solo recital on WMBC-TV. In February 2011, he played an organ and violin duo in Juilliard’s FOCUS! festival. He performs organ and piano concerts and enjoys transcribing and premiering music for both instruments. 


Colin MacKnight is a second-year organ student at Juilliard. He graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts with academic and artistic honors and performed with New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Benjamin Zander. In June 2011, he toured Europe with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, culminating in a performance at the Wiener Musikverein. Mr. MacKnight has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Music Center at Strathmore. He also has performed under the direction of Lorin Maazel, Piotr Gajewski, and Elizabeth Schulze, and with the National Symphony Orchestra.   

Griffin McMahon is a second-year undergraduate at Juilliard, where he is a recipient of the Alice Tully Scholarship and The Chairman’s Grant. A native of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Mr. McMahon has performed at venues such as New York’s St. Mary the Virgin (Times Square), Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center and Curtis Institute of Music, Boston Symphony Hall, Princeton University Chapel, and on the world’s largest functional pipe organ, the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s Center City Philadelphia. Active in both solo and chamber music, Mr. McMahon made his orchestral debut as piano soloist with a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Longmeadow Symphony Orchestra in December 2010. His performances on the Wanamaker Organ Hour have been broadcast on WTI radio. Currently he is organist at Middle Collegiate Church in New York’s East Village.

 Raymond Nagem, a native of Boston, is a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at Juilliard and Organ Scholar at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Mr. Nagem received his bachelor of arts degree from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray and his master of music degree from Juilliard. He has performed throughout the Northeast, including concerts with the Juilliard Orchestra and Yale Symphony Orchestra. As the recipient of the first American Friends of Eton College Scholarship, he spent a year in England, studying music at Eton College. In 2011, he made his radio debut on NYC’s WQXR accompanying the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Kent Tritle. He has won prizes in the AGO Regional Competition for Young Organists and the John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition.  

Benjamin Sheen is one of the United Kingdom’s brightest young organists, currently a second-year master of music degree student at Juilliard. In 2011, he graduated from Oxford University with a First Class Honours degree (bachelor of arts) in Music, where he was the organ scholar of Christ Church Cathedral for three years. He is increasingly gaining recognition as an international concert organist, having given recitals and concerto performances throughout the U.K., including at the Royal Albert Hall, York Minster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, and Westminster Abbey. In January 2012, Mr. Sheen made his Juilliard concerto debut with a performance of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Organ and Percussion Ensemble as part of Juilliard’ FOCUS! festival. He will be performing recitals in New York, Phoenix, Boston, and in the National Cathedral in Washington, as well as a solo tour of Asia this coming summer.

Janet Yieh, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, is a second-year undergraduate organ student at Juilliard. She currently serves as organ scholar at historic Trinity Church, Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. She has performed several solo recitals in the U.S., Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Notable performances this past year include concerts at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square, Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, VA, and Aletheia University in Taipei. In November,  Ms. Yieh played a solo recital in the inaugural season of the Pipes at One concert series at St. Paul’s Church in New York.  

Gregory Zelek, a native of Miami, Florida, is a third-year undergraduate organ student at Juilliard. He was the first-prize winner in the 2012 Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition and the 2012 West Chester University Organ Competition. He also was selected as a 2010 NFAA YoungArts Silver Medal Winner, won first prize as well as the Bach Prize at the East Carolina University Organ Competition, and was a prizewinner in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival. He is the music intern at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, New York. Mr. Zelek is the organist for San Pedro Apostol Church in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain. He recently appeared as a soloist, performing Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

Juilliard Instrumentalists – Bios

Oboist Harrison Linsey is from Seattle, Washington. He is a second-year undergraduate student in Juilliard’s bachelor of music program, where he studies with Elaine Douvas.

Gwenllian Llyr is a harpist from Abertawe, Wales. She is a second-year master of music degree candidate, studying with Nancy Allen at Juilliard. Ms. Llyr holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Wales.

Charles Rosmarin, is a percussionist in the third year of the undergraduate bachelor of music degree program at Juilliard, where he studies with Daniel Druckman. Mr. Rosmarin was born in Boston, and currently resides in Milton, MA.

Mikio Sasaki is a fourth-year undergraduate trumpeter at Juilliard, studying with Mark Gould. Born in Urbana, IL, he currently resides in Austin, TX.

Violinist Eric Silberger is a native of New Jersey now in the second year of Juilliard’s master of music program, having completed his bachelor’s degree at Columbia University in the rigorous Barnard-Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program. He is a student of Glenn Dicterow.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 8 PM, Alice Tully Hall

“Juilliard Organists and Pipedreams

Juilliard Organists with Michael Barone, host of American Public Media’s Pipedreams

FREE tickets will be available beginning January 8, 2013 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM – 6 PM. For more information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to http://www.events.juilliard.edu.


BEDŘICH SMETANA: Overture to The Bartered Bride (trans. M. Hey)

   Michael Hey, organ

J.S. BACH:  Prelude & Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543

   David Ball, organ

RACHEL LAURIN: Fantasia for Organ and Harp, Op. 52  (2010)

   Ben Sheen, organ; Gwenllian Llyr, harp

TOMASO ANTONIO VITALI:  Chaconne for Organ and Violin

   Janet Yieh, organ; Eric Silberger, violin

PAUL HINDEMITH:  Sonata No. 3 (on ancient folk songs) (1940)

   Raymond Nagem, organ

JOHN WEAVER: Sine Nomine (1994)

   Colin MacKnight, organ

PIERRE COCHEREAU:  Bolero for organ and percussion (on a theme of Charles Racquet) (1973)

   Gregory Zelek, organ; Charles Rosmarin, percussion

JOHANN LUDWIG KREBS:  Pieces for Organ and Obbligato Instruments

   Griffin McMahon, organ; Harrison Linsey, oboe; Mikio Sasaki, trumpet

HENRY MARTIN: Two Preludes and Fugues: G Major, E Minor (2007, New York premiere)

   David Crean, organ

RICHARD WAGNER: Ride of the Valkyries (transcribed for two organists by Clarence Dickinson and Charlotte Lockwood)

   Benjamin Sheen and Michael Hey, organ