Benefit for the restoration of our parish’s pipe organ
Stephen Tharp, the American organ virtuoso who was voted International Performer of the Year in 2011 by the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, played an unusual program of organ works and hymns on November 18 at Grace Church Brooklyn Heights.
The program, chosen by supporters of the event, a benefit for the restoration and re-installation of the Kilgen pipe organ at Our Lady of Refuge Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, included Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor and Toccata and Fugue in F major by Bach; Improvisation sur le Te Deum by Tournemire; Cortège et Litanie by Dupré; Te Deum from Trois Paraphrases Grégoriennes by Langlais, and Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin.
Since 1987, Tharp has performed around the globe in over 1,300 concerts on more than 35 solo intercontinental tours.
In February 2009, Tharp’s Aeolus CD release, The Complete Organ Works of Jeanne Demessieux, was awarded the 5 Diapason high rating for excellence from Diapason French music magazine, as well as the prestigious “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” (May 2009), Germany’s top critic’s prize for recordings. Stephen Tharp plays St. Bavo, Haarlem, The Netherlands on the JAV label was called “the most beautiful CD of 2009” by Resmusica in France.
Stephen Tharp earned his BA degree, magna cum laude, from Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL and his MM from Northwestern University, Chicago, where he studied with Rudolf Zuiderveld and Wolfgang Rübsam, respectively. He has also worked privately with Jean Guillou in Paris.
Stephen Tharp served as Organist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City from 1995-1997 and as Associate Organist at St. Bartholomew’s from 1998-2002. In 2007, he was named Artist in Residence at Grace Church (Episcopal), New York.
The organ at Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights was installed in 2001 by Bruce Buchanan and Austin Organs, Inc. of Hartford, Conn. Some 15 of its 69 ranks of pipes came from the instrument installed in 1887 in the church by the organbuilders Hilborne and Frank Roosevelt, cousins of Theodore, in 1887. The more than 3,700 pipes and 70 stops make the instrument a showcase for the organ literature of all periods.