Ditmas Park

World-Renowned Musicians To Play Concert Series At Our Lady Of Refuge


Thierry Escaich

Our Lady of Refuge Church (2020 Foster Avenue) has just announced its 2014 concert series, when neighbors will get a chance to hear internationally-acclaimed musicians play on the church’s beautifully restored Kilgen pipe organ.

Tickets for each of the three concerts will be $15 if purchased online and $20 at the door. If you purchase a ticket online, it will be mailed to you two weeks before the performance. The church has said it is preferred to purchase them online, especially because the events are likely to sell out. They can be purchased online at www.olrbrooklyn.org/organ-recitals-in-new-york-city.

Our Lady of Refuge Pipe Organ Delivery: Keys

The “Music for Trumpet & Organ” concert on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 pm will feature organist Craig Cramer, an organ professor at the University of Notre Dame, and John Thiessen, who teaches at Juilliard and was described by the New York Times as “the gold standard of Baroque trumpet playing.”

A musician who has performed across the world, Cramer holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Organ Performance. He has won numerous national contests, including the National Organ Competition in Indiana and the Alexander McCurdy Competition in Organ Performance at Westminster Choir College. He has appeared as a soloist with the Toledo Symphony, the South Bend Chamber Orchestra, and the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Thiessen appears regularly as a soloist and principal trumpet with North America’s foremost early music ensembles, including the Tafelmusik, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Juilliard Baroque, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, and Early Music Vancouver.

Our Lady of Refuge

The second concert, on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:30pm, will feature Todd Wilson accompanying the 1925 silent film version of “The Phantom of the Opera” on the organ. Regarded across the country as one of today’s finest concert organists, Wilson serves as head of the Organ Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is the curator of the E.M. Skinner pipe organ at the Severance Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra). He also serves as director of music and worship at Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral, where he plays the Flentrop organs.

our lady of refuge organ recital by ditmasparkcorner

The final performance will take place Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30pm. “The Composer Improvises” will feature Thierry Escaich, an organist at the centuries-old Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, which contains the shrine of St. Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. A professor at the Paris Conservatory, Escaich is also an award-winning composer of orchestral works that have been commissioned and performed by major orchestras around the world. His catalogue boasts some hundred pieces, and he was honored with three Victoires de la Musique awards as Composer of the Year in 2003, 2006, and 2011. In 2010, he composed a ballet premiered by the New York City Ballet and Benjamin Millepied. For the Lyons Opera, he prepared an opera on a libretto by Robert Badinter after Victor Hugo’s story Claud Gueux, which premiered in March 2013.

For more information about the concert series, email Joe Vitacco at joe.vitacco@olrbrooklyn.org.

Top photo via Thierry Escaich

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  1. Thank you very much for your kind support of the organ recitals – which everyone hopes bring some beauty to everyone in Brooklyn – OK and Queens, Staten Island and even Manhattan and the Bronx. THANK YOU!

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