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Going for Baroque!

Photo Credit: Martin Pasi

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

September 14, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. – The ASU Herberger College School of Music is home to a rare Italian Baroque organ on indefinite loan to ASU. The organ, which was built by Domenico Traeri in 1742, is a part of the 2006-07 MainStage Organ Series concert season.

The installment of the Traeri organ at ASU is believed to be one of only four U.S. academic institutions, and the only campus in the southwest region, to house such a rare musical treasure.  Other campuses that have Baroque organs include the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, The University of California, Berkeley and Cornell University.  The instrument will be utilized for performance, special classes and lessons in Italian Baroque music. 

“Its incorporation into the organ program already is helping to attract a higher level of applicant to the School of Music, giving the school an advantage when competing with other institutions,” says Kimberly Marshall, interim director of the School of Music and Goldman Professor of Organ.

Before its arrival in Tempe, the Traeri organ made a fateful journey.  The organ was housed in a church that was bombed during WWII.  Before the church was razed in 1950, the organ was purchased by an Austrian, who kept it safe in his attic for the next 50 years.  Despite the environmental challenges the organ has faced, it has survived nearly completely intact – only one of its 300 pipes has been replaced.  The Traeri organ was brought to the U.S. in 2004 by one of the foremost American organ builders, who restored it to its original condition. 

“Martin Pasi brought it to his Seattle workshop,” Marshall says. “It’s amazing to realize that the organ was built in Italy in the year after Vivaldi's death.” 

In addition to the history and prestige the organ brings to ASU, the instrument has a distinct and delightful sound.  One of the most recognizable differences between the German-made Fritts organ, which currently occupies Organ Hall, and the Traeri organ, is that the Fritts is more intellectual and organized in orientation; the Traeri delivers a sound that really is reflective of singing voices.

“Although small, the Traeri organ encompasses a full harmonic spectrum, and its six registers deliver rich sounds of great variety,” Marshall says. “The music of Cavazzoni, Gabrieli and Frescobaldi will be recreated in Organ Hall as it can be heard on historical instruments in Italy today.  The organ undoubtedly is an invaluable addition to our New Music program.”

The official dedication of the instrument that includes the highest concentration of the Traeri organ is the March 11, 2007 MainStage concert.

For MainStage Organ series tickets, visit:
or call the Herberger College Box Office at (480) 965-6447.

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by “U.S.News & World Report.” More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit


The 2006-07 MainStage Organ Series

All concerts are held in Organ Hall. Tickets are $7-$18. To purchase MainStage Organ tickets, visit, or call 480-965-6447.

September 2006
The King of Instruments Meets the Instrument of Kings
Sept. 24, 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.
Regents? Professor David Hickman joins Goldman Professor of Organ Kimberly Marshall in a program that explores the sounds of organ and trumpet. This is the first public performance on the recently acquired Traeri organ, which is on indefinite loan to ASU.

November 2006
It Takes Two to Tango
Nov. 5, 2:30 p.m.
Anglo/American organ duo Colin Andrews and Janette Fishell have toured together worldwide, presenting recitals of both solo and duet repertoire, the latter including innovative transcriptions of their own. Their program includes a variety of solo works and duets that showcase the magnificent Fritts organ, with four hands and feet!

December 2006
4th Annual Organ Christmas Concert
Dec. 9 & 10, 2:30 & 5 p.m.
Kimberly Marshall and the ASU Organ Studio invite you to a special holiday concert celebrating with seasonal carols and nöels sure to get you in the 
holiday spirit. Last year’s performances sold out, so purchase your tickets early!

February 2007
The Golden Age in Europe
Feb. 4, 2:30 p.m.
Robert Bates of the University of Houston is a specialist in Renaissance and Baroque organ music.  His program highlights this fascinating repertoire with anonymous French dances and chansons of the Renaissance, performed on the Traeri organ, and a selection of exotic Tientos by the greatest Spanish organist of the 17th century, Francisco Correa de Arauxo.

In Pursuit of Art: Early Organ Music as Didactic Material
Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m.
ASU’s new professor of early music, Siegbert Rampe, introduces the audience to ASU’s new pedal clavichord by master builder Gary Blaise. For centuries, organists played this instrument to prepare for performances on the organ. Rampe has chosen repertoire that was used to teach improvisation and composition. Learn how Baroque organists learned to play and compose. Half of the program is on clavichord; the other on organ.

March 2007
Order vs. Beauty: A Juxtaposition of German and Italian Styles
March 11, 2:30 p.m.
Kimberly Marshall spent seven months of sabbatical in Italy last year and shares the fruits of her research in this program that exploits the unique timbres of the Fritts and Traeri organs. This marks the official dedication of the Traeri organ.

A German Organ Tour
March 25, 2:30 p.m.
Sue Westendorf, associate director of music at All Saints Episcopal Church in Phoenix, explores the history of German organ music with selections by Buxtehude, Bach, Mendelssohn and Merkel. The Fritts organ is ideally suited to the German Baroque repertoire, which features Bach’s virtuosic Toccata in F Major; the later sonatas by Mendelssohn (Sonata VI) and Merkel demonstrate how composing for the organ developed in Germany during the 19th century.