- Guest Artists -
"Distinguished Professors from Yale, Lawrence, and Rice Universities"
Martin Jean is Professor of Organ, Professor in the Practice of Sacred Music, and Director of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. He has performed widely throughout the United States and Europe and is known for his broad repertorial interests. He was awarded first place at the international Grand Prix de Chartres in 1986, and in 1992 at the National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance. A student of Robert Glasgow, in the fall of 1999 he spent a sabbatical with Harald Vogel in North Germany. He has performed on four continents and in nearly all fifty states. In 2001 he presented a cycle of the complete organ works of Bach at Yale, and his compact discs of The Seven Last Words of Christ by Charles Tournemire and the complete Six Symphonies of Louis Vierne, both recorded in Woolsey Hall, have been released by Loft Recordings. Recordings of the organ symphonies and Stations of the Cross of Marcel Dupré are forthcoming on the Delos label. Professor Jean is on the board of directors of Lutheran Music Program.
Kathrine Handford is University Organist and Lecturer of Music at Lawrence University’s Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, a position she has held since 2004. From 2005 until 2010,
she was Director of Music and the Arts and Organist at the historic Central Presbyterian Church in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.
She holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Literature and the highly coveted Performer’s Certificate in Organ from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she has done post-graduate studies in harpsichord and organ performance.
A musician of wide-ranging interests and accomplishments, Handford has appeared in recitals in the United States, Canada, England, and Scandinavia. She has been a featured artist at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, the St. Olaf Festival in Trondheim, Norway, the Lahti International Music Festival in Finland, and at the International Organ Festival in Arona, Italy.
In 1993, Handford was the winner of the 35th International J.S. Bach Competition held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In the same year, she received first prize in the John R. Rodland Scholarship Competition, sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. She has been the recipient of many grants and awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts. This past year she was the recipient of a grant from the prestigious Mellon Foundation.
Handford has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed numerous recitals with the Swedish natural trumpet virtuoso Niklas Eklund and has toured with the Australian Baroque Brass. Her interest in new music has led to premieres of several new works for organ, including Stephen Paulus’ Toccata for Organ, Ketil Hvoslef’s Toccata for Organ, Robert Starer’s Angel Voices, David Liptak’s Sonata for Violin and Organ, which was commissioned by Benedictinus 2000 and premiered in Rome, Haunted Divertimento by Aaron David Miller, and most recently this new solo work by Stephen Paulus.
She has produced more than 60 recordings of choral and organ music together with her husband Bill Lund, who is an award winning recording engineer.
She is in demand as a performer, clinician and adjudicator. Her students at Lawrence have received top awards and honors in regional and national organ playing competitions.
Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists. Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he
maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Recent feature performances have included appearances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa California, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Spivey Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea. In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at the national conventions of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO, and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
Numerous critically acclaimed compact disc recordings are available by Mr. Cowan. His most recent releases are Ken Cowan plays The Great Organ (on the Pro Organo Label) which was recorded on the newly-restored organ at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, Works of Franz Liszt (on the JAV label), which was recorded on the Michael Quimby organ at First Baptist church in Jackson Mississippi, and Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks (on the Raven label), which was recorded on the 110-rank Schoenstein organ at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition to his solo recordings, Mr. Cowan also joined organist Justin Bischof in the world premiere recording of American composer Aaron Miller’s Double Concerto for organ, recorded with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra on the Kleuker organ in the Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland (Ethereal Recordings). Many of Mr. Cowan’s recordings and live performances are regularly featured on the nationally distributed radio show PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media.
A native of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Cowan received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray. Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver.
In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as Associate Professor and head of the organ program. Previous positions have included Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and Associate Organist and Artist in Residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.