HARTFORD, CT, June 24, 2013 – Organist Christopher Houlihan, ’09, one of the country’s most acclaimed young organists and a native of Connecticut, will return to his alma mater to perform at the Trinity College Chapel on July 2 at 8 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.
Even as a student at Trinity, where he studied under John Rose, Houlihan was earning plaudits for his playing. Now, after coast-to-coast performances that have earned praise from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and many organ publications, Houlihan is coming to Trinity for a rare appearance.
Houlihan will perform works by J.S. Bach, Maurice Durufle and Franz Liszt, as well as the world premiere of Steel Symphony by Patrick Greene, a fellow Trinity alumnus who graduated in 2007, and from the Boston Conservatory in 2010. The work by Greene was commissioned by Trinity College Chapel Music for this occasion.
The concert is a featured event of the American Guild of Organists Regional Convention in Hartford. A blog by Greene about Steel Symphony can be found at www.patrickgreenemusic.com
photo: Patrick Greene '07 (left) rehearses with Christopher Houlihan '09 (right) at the Trinity Chapel.
Photo by Phil Farnsworth. For more photos from the rehearsal, visit: http://bit.ly/12Kjf49.
Houlihan made his orchestral debut with the Hartford Symphony and recorded his first two CDs while still in college, prompting classmates to form the “Houli Fans,” a fan base that continues to grow on Facebook.
Houlihan, who is also a 2011 graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City, won acclaim for his performances of all six of the Louis Vierne organ symphonies last summer. The Wall Street Journal referred to his “dazzling performances”; The New York Times praised his “flexibility and clarity”; and The Los Angeles Times dubbed him an “eloquent musician.”
Though just 25 years old, Houlihan’s international career is well under way, as he has performed in Europe and throughout North America. His most recent tour included stops in New York, California’s Bay area, Orlando, Cleveland, St. Louis and Atlanta, among other cities.
“Some people think organ music is only spooky or churchy,” said Houlihan. “But a lot of the best organ music is secular, and much of it is colorful, fun and exciting. It’s not funereal. It’s not boring drone. People are surprised at the feelings it creates.”
Houlihan’s recordings include music of Maurice Durufle and Jehan Alain and Organ Sympthony No. 2 by Louis Vierne, both on Towerhill Records. For more information about Houlihan, please visit: www.christopherhoulihan.com.
Houlihan is widely acknowledged as one of the brightest stars in the new generation of American organists. He studied with Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs at Juilliard and with Rose at Trinity. While abroad, he studied with Jean-Baptiste Robin at the conservatory in Versailles, France, where he earned the Prix de Perfectionnement from the French National Regional Conservatory. He also served as assistant musician at the American Cathedral in Paris, where he had the honor of performing for then-President and First Lady of the United States, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Bush.
The main organ in the Trinity College Chapel was built by the Austin Organ Company of Hartford and contains nearly 5,000 pipes. Many prominent organists have performed on the instrument.
Houlihan’s program on July 2 will include Fantasia and Fugue in G Minor by J.S. Bach; Steel Symphony by Greene; Prelude and Fugue in the name of ALAIN by Durufle; and Fantasy and Fugue on “Ad nos, ad salutarem undam” by Liszt.
Trinity College is located at 300 Summit Street, Hartford. For a map of the campus, click here.