SMU Meadows Faculty Artist & Distinguished Alumni Recital Series Presents “à la française!,” Debut Concert with New Chair of Organ Stefan Engels, Nov. 22
Engels will perform a program of classic French works spanning the centuries
Internationally renowned concert artist and organist Stefan Engels, who joined SMU Meadows this fall as professor of music, chair of the organ department and Leah Young Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance, presents his debut recital at SMU on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.
The concert is the third offering in this season’s Faculty Artist and Distinguished Alumni Recital Series at SMU Meadows, which features performances by outstanding faculty and/or alumni who maintain concert careers.
Engels will perform a program of classic French works spanning the centuries. The concert is being presented in partnership with the Dallas Bach Society (DBS), and Engels will be accompanied by a Baroque orchestra led by DBS Artistic Director James Richman.
The program opens with Nicolas de Grigny’s Selections from Livre d’Orgue (1699), whose power and lyricism will be brought to life by Caruth Auditorium’s magnificent Fisk organ. De Grigny was the organist at the Cathedral of Reims in France, and the work was composed for the Catholic liturgy.
Michel Corrette’s 18th-century Organ Concertos No. 2 and No. 5 follow, providing a showcase of rhythmic vitality and virtuosity. Corrette (1709-1795) was a prolific composer of songs, works for stage, instrumental chamber works, harpsichord pieces, sacred vocal works, and concertos for numerous instruments, including six for organ. He is best known today for his method books on a variety of instruments, which offer valuable insight into the performance practice of his time.
Concluding the concert will be Louis Vierne’s Symphonie IV, op. 32, written in 1914 when the composer was principal organist at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Vierne is one of the leading members of the French symphonic tradition of organ music; his fourth symphony includes five contrasting movements and reflects the violence of World War I.
The concert will be held in Caruth Auditorium, located in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus in Dallas. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For more information, call the Meadows ticket office at 214-768-2787 or visit meadows.smu.edu. For updated parking information, visit here.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Stefan Engels joined the Meadows School in fall 2014. He previously held appointments at one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious music institutions – the University of Music and Theatre “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany – and at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. He also founded and served as artistic director of the European Organ Academy Leipzig.
Engels maintains a busy international concert schedule with performances from London to Vienna to Seoul. He is also a sought-after teacher, having presented lectures and master classes throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He frequently serves on juries at leading international organ competitions. He has recorded two highly acclaimed CDs on the Naxos and Priory labels and is currently completing the world premiere recording of the complete organ works (14 CDs) of late-Romantic German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert.
Engels received his broad musical education in Germany and the United States. From 1993 until 1998 he pursued further organ studies with Wolfgang Rübsam in Chicago and the late Robert Anderson in Dallas, receiving an Artist Certificate degree from the Meadows School in 1995. 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.
Since its founding in 1982, the Dallas Bach Society has been the primary resource in the Southwest for Baroque and Classic music on original instruments. Under the musical direction of James Richman, the Society unites the finest vocalists and instrumentalists from the Metroplex, all over the United States, and from abroad, in lively and informed performances of Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Monteverdi, Couperin, Schütz and other period composers. Every season the Dallas Bach Society presents a full program of Baroque and Classic music on original instruments, featuring performances of favorites like Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Passions and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as little-known works of great music that would otherwise be heard only rarely if at all. Significant recent performances include staged presentations with the New York Baroque Dance Company; French cantatas with Bernard Deletré and Ann Monoyios from the Paris Opera; and recordings for CD of Messiah and Bach solo Cantatas. The group’s mission is to present public performances of the highest quality music composed before 1800, especially the works of Bach, to encourage the development of this musical repertoire in the Dallas area for both performers and audience, and to promote and encourage public education and awareness, understanding and appreciation of the musical art of the Baroque and earlier periods.
James Richman, artistic director of the Dallas Bach Society, is a prominent harpsichordist and fortepianist, as well as one of today’s leading conductors of Baroque music and opera. The first musician since Leonard Bernstein to graduate from Harvard, Juilliard and the Curtis Institute of Music, Richman studied conducting, piano and harpsichord. He received the prestigious United States-France Exchange Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and was made a chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1995, in recognition of his contributions to the field of music. Richman has been a prizewinner in four international competitions for early keyboard instruments, including first prize in the Bodky Competition of the Cambridge Society of Early Music. In appearances at the Mostly Mozart, Spoleto and other major festivals, he has organized and conducted revivals of stage works by Handel, Gluck, Purcell, Bach, Monteverdi, and seven operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau. He has recorded for Nonesuch, Newport Classic, Centaur, Vox and New World records, and his live performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #6 is featured on National Public Radio’s Bach CD, along with recordings of James Galway, Yo-Yo Ma and Christopher Hogwood. He is also artistic director of New York’s Concert Royal ensemble, which appears annually with the Choir of Men and Boys at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in performances of Messiah and the great works of Bach and Purcell.