Sunday Afternoon Organ Concert: Isabelle Demers
Sun, 5 August 2018 at 3.00pm
On Sunday 5th August at 3pm Isabelle Demers, International Concert Organist and Associate Professor of Organ at Baylor University, Texas, gives an afternoon organ recital at St Albans Cathedral.
All are welcome; the recital will be around 60 minutes long and admission is free, with a retiring collection in aid of Cathedral music funds.
Allegro Vivace from Fifth Symphony op. 42 no. 1 Charles-Marie Widor
Trio Sonata no. 2 BWV 526 J.S. Bach
Vltava from Ma Vlast Bedrich Smetana trans. Demers
Aubade op. 55 no. 1 & Carillon de Westminster op. 54 no. 6 Louis Vierne
Variations on a theme of Paganini George Thalben-Ball
With playing described as having “bracing virtuosity” (Chicago Classical Review) and being “fearless and extraordinary” (Amarillo-Globe News), organist Isabelle Demers has enraptured critics, presenters, and audience members around the globe for her spell-binding performances. Her recital for the joint International Society of Organbuilders – American Institute of Organbuilders convention in 2010 so enchanted the audience that she “left the entire congress in an atmosphere of ‘Demers fever’. ”Her concert at the 2010 national convention of the American Guild of Organists, in Washington, D.C., was received with great acclaim not only by critics, who deemed it “one of the most outstanding events of the convention” (The American Organist), but also by the standing-room-only audience, which called her back to the stage five times.
She has appeared in recital at the cathedrals of Cologne and Regensburg in Germany, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman, Melbourne Town Hall (Australia), Auckland Town Hall (New Zealand), as well as major universities and concert halls in the United States, among them Davies Hall (San Francisco), Disney Hall (Los Angeles), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), the Wanamaker Organ (Philadelphia), Yale University, and the Eastman School of Music, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Spivey Hall (Georgia), and the Spreckels Pavillion (San Diego). Highlights of her 2017-18 season include performances at the Freiburg Munster (Germany), St. Jacobs Church (Stockholm, Sweden), Sao Lazaro Church (Macau), Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore), Winspeare Center (Edmonton, AB), Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, TX), St. John’s Cathedral (Denver, CO), Overture Hall (Madison, WI), as well as for the Los Angeles AGO chapter.
Ms. Demers is in continual demand by her fellow colleagues as witnessed by repeat performances for regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (Minneapolis, 2008; Washington D.C., 2010; Hartford, 2013; Austin, 2013; Indianapolis, 2015; Houston, 2016), the joint convention of the Institute of Organ Builders and International Society of Organbuilders (Montréal, 2010), the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Toronto, 2009; Kingston, Ontario, 2016), and the Organ Historical Society (Vermont, 2013 and Minnesota, 2017).
Her debut recording on British label Acis was met with critical acclaim. On a recent broadcast of Pipedreams, presenter Michael Barone featured the Fugue from Reger's Op. 73, describing it as "a masterful score, here masterfully played," and Isabelle Demers as, "definitely a talent to watch, to hear" The RSCM's Church Music Quarterly awarded the "exciting, expressive and successful" recording its highest recommendation for its "profound and searching" performances. Fanfare Magazine proclaimed the "superbly produced" and "clear, tightly focused recording" with its "brilliantly played program." Her second disc, featuring the organ works of Rachel Laurin, was released in June 2011, and her recording of Max Reger’s Seven Chorale-Fantasias in November 2012. Her fourth CD, Bach, Bull, and Bombardes (Pro Organo), was released in May 2013, and includes works of Bach, Bull, Reger, Widor, Tremblay, Mendelssohn, Daveluy, and Thalben-Ball. Currently in production is a recording of the restored Skinner organ at Rockefeller Chapel-University of Chicago (Raven).
A native of Québec and a graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Demers is Organ Professor and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University in Texas.