The St. Matthew Lutheran Church Concert Series will present organists Ken Cowan and Bradley Hunter Welch in concert on Sunday, October 21 at 4:00 p.m. Free tickets are required for admission and can be ordered by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: October Concert, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 30 W. Chestnut St., Hanover, PA 17331. Please note the number of tickets desired. A free-will offering will be taken to assist with the concert costs. The doors open at 3:30 p.m. A reception will follow the program.
The colorful program will include organ duets as well as solos from the organists.
Ken Cowan is regarded as one of North America’s finest concert organists and praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique, and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike. He maintains a rigorous performing schedule that takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Recent feature performances have included appearances at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa California, Spivey Hall, Maison Symphonique in Montreal, 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 national conventions of the American Guild of Organists in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Houston. He 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 by Mr. Cowan are available. His most recent releases are Dynamic Duo, (Pro Organo), featuring Mr. Cowan and Bradley Hunter Welch in a program of original works and transcriptions for duo organists, performed on the monumental Casavant organ at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX; Ken Cowan plays The Great Organ (Pro Organo), recorded on the newly-restored organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City; Works of Franz Liszt (JAV), recorded on the Michael Quimby organ at First Baptist church in Jackson, Mississippi; and Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks (Raven), recorded on the 110-rank Schoenstein organ at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mr. Cowan also joined organist Justin Bischof in the 1999 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 have been 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. Following initial studies with his father David, his principal teacher during his high school years was James Bigham, Music Director at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in Buffalo, NY.
In 2012, Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he is Professor of Organ and head of the organ program. He is additionally Organist and Artist-in-Residence at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, TX. 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.
Bradley Hunter Welch is hailed as “A world-class virtuoso” (The American Organist) and “an expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors,” (Birmingham News, Alabama) and is increasingly in demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and collaborative artist. He is the 2003 First Place winner of the Dallas International Organ Competition and was also awarded the Audience Prize for the second time, having previously won it in 2000. He has been a featured artist at three conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and made his European debut in France performing in the Chartres Organ Festival. He has appeared as soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. With the DSO, he gave the world premiere of Stephen Paulus’ Grand Concerto for Organ and Orchestra, the piece written for Bradley as the winner of the Dallas International Organ Competition.
Dr. Welch has taught at Southern Methodist University and Baylor University. He was Director of Music & Arts at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX, from 2009-2014. He currently devotes his attention to a thriving solo concert career, his numerous performances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and as Artist-in-Residence at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
A native of Knoxville, TN, Bradley holds the Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Musical Arts, and Master of Music degrees, as well as the coveted Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray and Martin Jean. He also holds the Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude from Baylor University where he studied with Joyce Jones. Dr. Welch continues his study of organ and piano technique with Sheila Paige.
“To invoke an old Southern expression, Bradley Hunter Welch plays the organ like nobody’s business. Between the virtuosity of the playing and the easy going spoken commentary, he also proved that ‘entertainer’ and ‘organist’ needn’t be mutually exclusive. It would be hard to play Widor any better than this….splendidly idiomatic and communicative.” (Dallas Morning News)
His debut CD recording is the very first solo organ recording made on the Rildia Bee O’Bryan Cliburn Organ, built by Casavant, at Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, made on the Loft Recordings label. In 2016, he released a CD, entitled “Dynamic Duo,” of large-scale orchestral transcriptions with duo-organist Ken Cowan on the Pro Organo label.
Bradley Hunter Welch is represented in North American exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.