(MILLBURN, NJ) -- Organist, Dr. Paul-Martin Maki, Director of Music of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Larchmont, New York and musical faculty member of Columbia University, will kick-off the 2019-2020 St. Stephen’s organ recital series on November 10, 2019 at 4:00pm. This season marks the 50th anniversary of these popular recitals on the Beckerath Organ.
The Beckerath tracker organ was designed and built by celebrated German organ builder, Rudolf von Beckerath, for St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in 1970 and quickly became a major cultural resource in the area. The mechanical keyboard action (as opposed to electronic) and pipework of this instrument, one of the finest in the state, is designed to play and sound much like the historical baroque organs of northern Germany from the time of Johann Sebastian Bach. St. Stephens has been sharing this exceptional organ with the greater community by presenting an organ recital series each year since the organ was installed.
Through the decades, the series have featured many different performers known both locally and abroad. This special, celebratory season has been conceived to represent this history and debuts with Dr. Maki, one of the performers heard most often on the series over the years.
Dr. Maki holds the degrees Bachelor of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts together with the Performer’s Certificate in Organ from the Eastman School of Music, the degree Master of Music from Syracuse University, and the Diploma (highest honors) from the Schola Cantorum in Paris, where he was a Fulbright stipendiary of the United States Government.
His organ teachers include Raymond Ocock, David Craighead, Arthur Poister, Andre Marchal, and Jean Langlais. He has studied the north German Baroque literature extensively in master classes with Harald Vogel. His doctoral dissertation on the chorale fantasies of Max Reger reflects his interest in the late romantic repertoire, for the performance of which he is widely acclaimed.
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Dr. Maki has been heard in recital throughout the United States and Canada, in Europe and in Australia, and has performed on television and radio. His concerts have been sponsored by prominent churches and universities, the American Guild of Organists, the International Congress of Organists, and the Edinburgh Festival.
He is often sought out for advice on the tonal design of new instruments and the re-design of existing ones. Recently he served as consultant for the re-building of the large organ in the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City, the Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church in Larchmont, New York, and Grace Lutheran Church, Riveredge, New Jersey.
Three compact discs by Dr. Maki are available from JAV Recordings (www.pipe-organrecordings.com): one on the untouched G. Donald Harrison Aeolian-Skinner at McMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois entitled Elgar and Co., featuring works by Elgar (Sonata), Whitlock, Roger-Ducasse and Bourgeois; the second on the Austin/Konzelman instrument at the Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York with works by Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Elgar, and Whitlock (Sonata); the third a recording of works by Jenkins, Sowerby, Dupre, Vierne, and Wagner (Siegfried-Idyll) on the historic 1915 E. M. Skinner in the first Unitarian-Universalist Church in Detroit.
Additional performances in this recital series will include, organist, John Charles Schucker, St. Stephen’s organist, on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 4:00pm and Johann Vexo, Organiste de Choeur at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Paris on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 4:00pm.
This recital series is made possible through financial support from St. Stephen’s Friends of Music. Tax deductible donations can be made to the organization, entitling sponsors to admission to each concert and acknowledgement in the organ recital programs. Checks should be made payable to St. Stephen’s Church – Friends of Music. The following donation levels are available: Philanthropists $300+, Benefactors $200-$299, Patrons $100-$199, and Sponsors as able.
General admission tickets for each performance will be available at the door. A $10 cash donation is suggested. Children accompanied by an adult are welcome as guests and an artist’s reception will follow each performance. For more information visit the church website.