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ASU’s Herberger Mainstage Organ series celebrates old traditions, new styles

August 27, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. – Beginning Sept. 21, valley music lovers can experience the amazing sounds and sights of the Fritts organ when the Herberger Mainstage Organ series kicks off its 2003-04 season. The Fritts Organ, housed in the School of Music, is a state-of-the-art instrument with 1,900 pipes that features ornamental carvings gilded with 24-karat gold leaf. It resembles the antique organs of Northern Europe in both sound and appearance.

All concert dates are on Sundays at 2:30 p.m. in the Organ Hall of the ASU Music Building, 40 E. Gammage Pkwy. Ticket prices are: $14 adults; $12 seniors, faculty, staff and ASU alumni; $5 students. For more information, the public can call 480-965-6447.

Blending Old and New, Sept. 21, 2003
Hungarian organist Zsigmond Szathmáry, professor of organ at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, presents a skillful program that combines Baroque and contemporary music. Szathmáry is a noted interpreter of contemporary music and has worked with composers of the Darmstadt school, who were fascinated with the tonal resources of the organ.

A Celebration of Christmas Organ Music, Dec. 14, 2003
The ASU Organ Studio and Kimberly Marshall, Patricia and Leonard Goldman professor of organ in the School of Music, perform a holiday concert celebrating the music of Christmas. The program includes seasonal favorites and a historical perspective on the organ’s varied roles in embellishing the Christmas liturgy.

The Transcriber’s Art, Jan. 25, 2004
Richard Elliot, organist for the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, will explore the organ as a one-person orchestra. Elliot will perform arrangements of original orchestral and band works by 
Bach, Bluck and Grieg in an entertaining and inspiring concert.

J.S. Bach, The Consummate Musician, Feb. 8, 2004
ASU Alumnus Curt Sather, organist at St. Barnabas in the Desert Episcopal Church, explores the sounds of Bach in this program that includes music from different periods of Bach’s life. The Fritts organ provides perfect resonance for Bach’s organ music – from his early writing to later chorale settings.

Mathematical Music: Number in the Conception of Bach’s Organ Music, Feb. 22, 2004
Throughout time, mathematical ratios and proportions have been used to create compelling musical structures. Kimberly Marshall shows the ways in which Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque composers incorporated number symbolism in their organ music. Emphasis will be placed on Bach’s chorale settings and contrapuntal works.

Bach and the North German Tradition, March 7, 2004
Swedish virtuoso Hans Davidsson, professor of organ at the Eastman School of Music, will perform the music of the North German school which greatly influenced Bach’s writing for the organ. Davidsson is an expert on Bach’s music and has designed a riveting program to capture the distinctive German sounds of the Fritts organ.

The organ series is part of the ASU Herberger Mainstage Season that also includes operas, musicals, dance and theatre. For a complete Mainstage schedule, go to

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay