6ABC Loves The Arts

Kimmel Center's Chamber Organ

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Kimmel Center's world-famous organ is taking center stage.

The organ was made for the Kimmel Center when it opened in late 2001, and it remains the largest mechanical-action concert hall organ in America. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is putting on a Sunday matinee concert to showcase the instrument in its full glory. The Chamber Orchestra usually performs in the Kimmel's Perelman Theatre but, for this concert, they're moving to Verizon Hall, home of the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ. "We've tried to compile a number of composers who've been very important in the organ repertoire," says Peter Gistelinck, Executive director of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.

The concert will take listeners through time-from 18th century organ music written by Handel to contemporary composers. "It's an ideal program for audience members to discover this wonderful instrument," says Gistelinck. "I mean we are actually lucky because the 3 organ soloists that we have with us in this program are all local."

Gistelinck says 20th century Belgian composer Josef Jongen, who wrote one of the pieces the Chamber will perform, also has local ties. "He's the composer who was commissioned at the time by Mr. Wanamaker to write an organ concerto for the Wanamaker organ."

The concert will also include a work written by the Chamber's Music Director, Dirk Brosse-a violin concerto that incorporates the organ.

"I think it will be a really nice program where the organ is featured with an orchestra but through different composers," says Gistelinck. "Organ has a lot of possibilities and a lot of colors that can be created."

The Chamber Orchestra's performance is set for Sunday afternoon, January 19th. It's one concert only. For tickets, go to www.TheArtsinPhilly.org.

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