Fall 2022

New Keyboard Horizons

The Fall semester will witness the expansion of the Center’s research focus to the pianola and the reproducing piano, expressive historical instruments in their own right that enable different forms of real-time dialogue between the past and the present, the human and the mechanical. In October, we welcome concert-pianolist, scholar, and collector Rex Lawson and reproducing piano expert Denis Hall to share their knowledge of these technological marvels.

Before then, our semester opens with an exploration of “Lisette quitté la plaine,” an enduringly popular song from guest artist J. B. Cerin’s native Haiti, alongside other music of the African diaspora.

As in past seasons, these events will be complemented by programs on a variety of themes inspired by our beloved organs in Ithaca and historical pianos from Cornell’s extraordinary collection.

The Salon Project
Co-sponsored by the Society for the Humanities, the Salon Project brings together music, instruments, research, and conversation in a compact, hour-length format at the historic A. D. White House on select Fridays at 5pm.
Midday Music for Organ
Midday Music for Organ offers informal 40-minute programs on alternate Wednesdays at 12:30pm, giving busy Cornellians and guests musical respite at the center of the week. Events take place across campus and in local churches.
Evening Organ Recitals
Evening organ recitals this semester feature guest artists Tim Olsen (University of North Carolina School of the Arts), the renowned organist-improvisor William Porter (Eastman School of Music), and Canadian composer-organist Rachel Laurin on Ithaca’s renowned instruments.
Week

Aug 22 – 28

Aug 29 – Sep 4

Midday Music for Organ
From Frescobaldi to Froberger
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Nathan Mondry
Instrument: Italian Organ
Description
Paying homage to two keyboard giants of the 17th century (the German learning many of his tricks from the Italian), this program highlights the drama within the music of Frescobaldi and Froberger. Through free and contrapuntal pieces, the diversity of emotions, imitations, and harmonies, enhanced by the spirited mean tone of the Neapolitan organ, continue to astonish us.
Aug 31, 12:30pm   |   Sage Chapel
The Salon Project
Lisette – A Song’s Journey From Haiti and Back
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Jean Bernard Cerin and Nicholas Mathew
Instruments: A. D.White piano and Stein
Description
In “Lisette—A Song’s Journey From Haiti and Back,” baritone Jean Bernard Cerin and fortepianist Nicholas Mathew explore the tale—across centuries and continents—of “Lisette quitté la plaine,” an enduringly popular song from Cerin’s native Haiti alongside other music that intersects with the African diaspora and the abolitionist movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.
Sep 2, 5pm   |   AD White House

Sep 5 – 11

The Salon Project
Joseph Haydn, Anne Hunter, and Therese Jansen: the Composer, the Poet, and the Pianist in the London Salon
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Mike Cheng-Yu Lee, Ji-Young Kim, and Sofia Scattarreggia (soprano)
Instruments: 1799 Broadwood and Wolf Schantz
Description
Many of Haydn’s solo keyboard, vocal, and chamber works were products of relationships with women he encountered in his life. This salon focuses on music that grew out of Haydn’s collaboration with two women he met in London: the poet Anne Hunter and virtuoso pianist Therese Jansen.

Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.
Sep 9, 5pm   |   AD White House
Sep 12 – 18
Midday Music for Organ
Bach Chorale Preludes
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Nathan Mondry
Instrument: Aeolian-Skinner
Description
Four selections from J.S. Bach’s Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, along with an improvised prelude and fugue.
Sep 14, 12:30pm   |   Sage Chapel

Sep 19 – 25

Sep 26 – Oct 2

Midday Music for Organ
Magnificat
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Anna Steppler
Instrument: Baroque Organ
Description
Music inspired by the Virgin Mary, framed by two monumental early seventeenth–century Magnificat settings
Sep 28, 12:30pm   |   Anabel Taylor Chapel
Evening Organ Recital
Guest Artist: Tim Olsen
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Tim Olsen
Instrument: Aeolian-Skinner
Description
Former Acting University Organist Timothy Olsen returns to Cornell to offer a recital on the magnificent Aeolian-Skinner organ in Sage Chapel. The recital will feature works primarily from the past two centuries including works by Franck (on the bicentennial of his birth), American composer Craig Phillips, jazz legend George Shearing, and a transcription of the iconic melodies of Bizet’s Carmen.
Sep 30, 8pm   |   Sage Chapel

Oct 3 – 9

Midday Music––Special Guest Performance
NYS Baroque Young Artists
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Hannah De Priest, soprano, Michael Pecak, fortepiano
Instrument: Schantz (Wolf)
Description
Sensational Czech soprano Josepha Duschek (1754-1824) was known for “unit[ing] fire and energy with grace and expression” in dramatic performances of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. In this recital for fortepiano and soprano, we present two concert-arias premiered by (and written for) Josepha Duschek: Beethoven’s “Ah! Perfido!” and Mozart’s “Bella mia fiamma.” Rounding out the program are songs that reflect M. Duschek’s complementary engagement with the salon. Though very much a German Lied, Beethoven’s “Adelaide” is infused with quintessentially operatic gestures. “Ridente la calma” and “Un moto di gioia” lie in a similar generic grey-zone: the former is really an Italianate aria with keyboard accompaniment and the latter is a song written as a substitute aria for Le nozze di Figaro. Whereas in the theater, the keyboard serves as part of the continuo contingent of a large ensemble, in the salon with a sole singer, the instrument must provide supportive accompaniment, artful antagonism, and, particularly in the concert-arias, orchestral emulation. This recital revels in the unique sonic possibilities of the fortepiano and the intimate magic of the salon.
Oct 6, 12:30pm   |   Lincoln B20
Oct 10 – 16
Midday Music for Organ
London: A Musical Portrait
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Anna Steppler
Instruments: Italian and Aeolian-Skinner organs
Description
An ode to the organist’s home city, with music on the delicate Italian Organ by some of London’s earlier denizens, and romantic evocations of the cityscape on the Aeolian-Skinner.
Oct 12, 12:30pm   |   Sage Chapel

Oct 17 – 23 

Evening Organ Recital
Guest Artist: Rachel Laurin
Organ Sonata No. 2, “St. Luke” (World Premiere)
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Rachel Laurin
Instruments: TBA
Description
Organist and distinguished composer Rachel Laurin presents the world premiere of her Organ Sonata No. 2, “St. Luke,” commissioned by Music at St. Luke.
Oct 23, 4pm   |   St. Luke Lutheran Church

Oct 24 – 30

Midday Music for Organ
Gustav Holst’s The Planets
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Jeff Snedeker
Instrument: Aeolian-Skinner
Description
The orchestral colors of Gustav Holst’s popular work “The Planets” are exquisitely captured in Peter Sykes’ transcription for the organ, created specifically for a large Aeolian-Skinner instrument very similar to the organ at Sage Chapel. The recent restoration of this organ has revealed a dazzling sonic palette, with sounds that have not been heard in their original brilliance for decades.
Oct 26, 12:30pm   |   Sage Chapel
The Salon Project
Piano Players and Player Pianos: Mechanical Instruments, Human Performances
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Rex Lawson and Denis Hall
Instruments: Pianola (TBD)
Description
TBA
Oct 28, 5pm   |   AD White House

Oct 31 – Nov 6

Evening Organ Recital
Guest Artist: Bill Porter
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Bill Porter
Instrument: Baroque Organ
Description
TBA
Nov 4, 7pm   |   Anabel Taylor Chapel

Nov 7 – 13

Midday Music for Organ
The English-German Pipeline
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Nathan Mondry
Instrument: Baroque Organ
Description
The British Isles, invaded by Anglo-Saxons well before William the Conqueror, have been variously influenced and re-influenced not only by German rulers, but musicians; George I brought Handel with him upon ascension of the British crown, and 100 years later Queen Victoria encouraged musical visits from Felix Mendelssohn. The program features organ works by these composers as well as a new chorale partita.
Nov 9, 12:30pm   |   Anabel Taylor Chapel

Nov 14 – 20

The Salon Project
Conjuring with Mozart: How to Make Something out of Nothing
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Roger Moseley and Nathan Mondry
Instruments: Harpischord and 5-octave fortepiano
Description
TBA
Nov 18, 5pm   |   AD White House

Nov 21 – 27

Nov 28 – Dec 4

Midday Music for Organ
Advent and Christmas with Bach
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Anna Steppler
Instrument: Baroque Organ
Description
Seasonal favorites by J. S. Bach to welcome in the Advent and Christmas season.
Nov 30, 12:30pm   |   Anabel Taylor Chapel
The Salon Project
Murmelt fort, ihr Melodien: Musical, Temporal, and Cultural Cross-Currents in Brahms’ Epic Song Cycle
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Ryan McCullough and Lucy Fitz Gibbon
Instruments: A. D. White piano
Description
TBA
Dec 2, 5pm   |   AD White House

Dec 5 – 11

Evening Organ Recital
Winter Light
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Anna Steppler
Instruments: Baroque Organ
Description
“Winter Light,” a recital of seasonal music.
Dec 9, 7pm   |   Anabel Taylor Chapel

Dec 12 – 18

Locations