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Internationally Acclaimed Organists to perform at SMU Meadows School of the Arts in February

Stefan Engels and Douglas Cleveland to present free concerts on Feb. 18 and 25, respectively

Two internationally acclaimed organists, Stefan Engels and Douglas Cleveland, will present guest concerts at SMU Meadows School of the Arts in February.

Engels, winner of the “Concerto Gold Medal” at the 1998 Calgary International Organ Competition, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on February 18 in Caruth Auditorium, located in the Owen Arts Center at 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Engels is professor of organ at one of Europe’s most prestigious and oldest musical institutions, the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany, and is the founder and artistic director of the European Organ Academy Leipzig. He maintains a busy international concert schedule with performances from London to Vienna to Seoul. He has also recorded two highly acclaimed CDs on the Naxos and Priory labels.

Cleveland, who gained international prominence when he won first prize in the 1994 American Guild of Organists Young Artists Competition, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on February 25 in Caruth Auditorium. He has performed throughout the U.S. and in concert halls from Berlin to Moscow to Yokohama, and has been a guest artist with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony and National Symphony. Many of his concerts have been broadcast on National Public Radio and the BBC, and he has recorded four critically acclaimed CDs on the Gothic label. He currently serves on the organ faculty at the University of Washington School of Music.

Admission to the concerts is free, and tickets are not required. Full bios of the performers follow. For more information, call the Meadows ticket office at 214-768-2787.

About the artists:

STEFAN ENGELS began his tenure as Professor of Organ in the fall of 2005 at one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious musical institutions, the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany. This appointment was preceded by his position as associate professor of organ and chair of the organ department at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

Since his appointment in Leipzig, Engels has shaped the university’s Church Music Institute as a center for organ performance and organ pedagogy of international acclaim. He is the founder and artistic director of the European Organ Academy Leipzig, which attracts faculty and students from around the world. In 2009 the Academy was given a generous grant from the German Academic Exchange Service. Engels is also the initiator and chair of the jury for the International Competition in Organ Improvisation in Leipzig. In 2006 Engels was named artistic director of the Jordan International Organ Competition based at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. As a juror, he is in frequent demand at international organ competitions such as the Mendelssohn Competition, the Bach Competition and the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, all in Germany, as well as the St. Albans International Organ Festival and the Canadian International Organ Competition. Furthermore, as an advocate and specialist for the music of the late-Romantic German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert, he founded the Karg-Elert Festtage in Leipzig, demonstrating and discovering the unique works of this Leipzig composer.

Engels maintains a vigorous international concert schedule and is a sought-after teacher, having presented lectures and master classes across Europe, North America and South Korea. Recital engagements have included Smetana Hall in Prague, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Torch Centre in Seoul, St. Augustine in Vienna, Chartres Cathedral, Hallgrimskirkja Reykjavik, Sydney Cathedral, St. Jakobi Lübeck, Harvard University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, King’s College Cambridge, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Balboa Park in San Diego and the Cadet Chapel of West Point. He was a featured recitalist at the 2006 national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Chicago.

Engels has recorded two highly acclaimed CDs with works by Marcel Dupré on the Naxos label, and one with works of Karg-Elert, Reger, Messiaen and Germani on the Priory label as part of their Great European Organ Series. His specialization in the organ works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert has resulted in the world premiere recording of the complete organ works of Karg-Elert, also on the Priory label. Of this 14-CD project, eight CDs are now available for purchase and have been reviewed to the highest international acclaim.

Stefan Engels received his broad musical education in Germany and the United States. He studied organ, piano, harpsichord, choral conducting and church music at the universities in Aachen, Düsseldorf and Cologne. From 1993 until 1998 he pursued further organ studies with the late Robert Anderson in Dallas and Wolfgang Rübsam in Chicago. He achieved his international breakthrough when he was awarded the “Concerto Gold Medal” at the 1998 Calgary International Organ Competition. Since then he has been represented by Karen McFarlane Artists Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio.

DOUGLAS CLEVELAND gained international prominence when he won first prize in the 1994 American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Dallas. Since then, he has performed in 49 of the United States and has been invited to perform in such venues as Westminster Abbey, the Berlin Cathedral, the Stockholm Cathedral, the Moscow Conservatory, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, Minato Mirai Concert Hall in Yokohama, Japan, the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore and the Cathedral of Lausanne, Switzerland.

He has also performed with several symphony orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Northwestern University Symphony (Evanston, Ill.) and the National Symphony, for an audience of 3,000, at the Washington National Cathedral. Cleveland has performed with various reputable early music ensembles, including Paul Hillier’s “Theatre of Voices.” He also has performed at several international festivals, including the Oregon Bach Festival, Spoleto Festival, Festival Vancouver, the Moscow International Organ Festival and the International Organ Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Many of Cleveland’s performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, the BBC and the Northwest radio program “The Organ Loft.” Cleveland has recorded four CDs on the Gothic label, which have received critical acclaim in major periodicals – his most recent being Cleveland in Columbus.

He has performed at several national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, Organ Historical Society, National Pastoral Musicians and the American Institute of Organ Builders. Cleveland has been a member of the jury of several organ competitions, including the AGO National Young Artists Competition and the Miami International Organ Competition.

Cleveland has served on the faculties of St. Olaf College and Northwestern University, where he received the Searle Award for Teaching Excellence. He currently serves on the organ faculty at the University of Washington School of Music and is also the director of music at Plymouth Church in Seattle.

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