ALL AROUND THE YEAROrgan Music for Special Occasions
MICHAEL KOENIG, organ
World Premiere Recordings
PROGRAM NOTESAustrian-born and Copenhagen-based concert organist Michael Koenig has a busy schedule of international performance activities, both as an organ soloist and as a collaborative musician. His has appeared in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, China, Kenya and in the United States. In his programs, Koenig is always keen to include contemporary music, and owing to his collaborations with distinguished composers from around the world, he has given the premiere performances of more than a dozen new works over the last 15 years. Besides playing concerts, Koenig is active worldwide as a pedagogue. An avid member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), he is a member of the guild’s Committee of the New Organist, which has been installed to assist musicians both inside and outside the United States who are seeking to become organists. Currently, Koenig is organist and director of music at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Copenhagen. At the same time, he is performing research on the role of Western church music in colonial Kenya at Copenhagen University. Before moving to Denmark, Koenig held positions at major churches in Austria. He also served as the conductor of Innsbruck University’s Symphony Orchestra from 2002 to 2005 and worked as a recording producer for the Austrian National Broadcasting Corporation from 2002 to 2015. Koenig holds degrees from Vienna University of Music, where he studied organ with Michael Radulescu: MA in Organ Performance, MA in Music Education and BA in Church Music. He won prizes at numerous organ competitions, both national and international. After leaving university, his organ mentors included Eric Lebrun in Paris and David Enlow (organ department, The Juilliard School) in New York.
Hampson Sisler is a highly prolific composer, with a growing catalog of more than one hundred works for solo instruments, organ, voice, choir and orchestra. His music has been performed in the continental United States and Hawaii, and internationally in Argentina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Israel, Portugal, Russia and Ukraine, under the direction of conductors including Marlon Daniel, Arkady Leytush, Kirk Trevor and Samuel Wong. Born in Yonkers, New York, in 1932, Sisler began to show a prodigious talent at an early age and by age five was able to play keyboard by ear. By age 12, he was taken under the tutelage of David McKinley Williams (1887-1978) and Norman Coke-Jephcott (1893-1962) and began performing professionally on organ, and conducting choral ensembles. He earned a licentiate in Organ and Related Subjects from the Trinity College of Music in London at age 16 and achieved the fellowship rank in the American Guild of Organists at age 17 – the youngest ever for this distinction. Today, in addition to composing, Sisler maintains a career as an organist and choral director. He has held positions at 17 churches, most notably the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York, where Abraham Lincoln was an occasional attendee, and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, where Charles Ives served in the same position in the early 1900s. Currently, Sisler is co-organist at Smithfield Presbyterian Church in Amenia, New York. The highly successful premiere of Faiths, Cohabiting in Rishon LeZion, Israel, in 2012 resulted in a commission for a new piece, which resulted in the Israeli-American Festival Overture. At the premiere performance, Sisler was presented with a bronze plaque, stating a message of appreciation for his compositions on behalf of the State of Israel. His music is published by H.W. Gray Co., Jos. Fischer & Co., Belwin Mills, World Library, Laurendale Press and Morning Star Music.
PROGRAMHAMPSON SISLER (b.1932)
FAMILY DAYS SUITE
Celebrate the Children
A Salute to Grandparents
POPULAR MONASTICS SUITE
At Candlemas - Winter’s End, Gopher’s Out (February 2nd)
Saint Valentine (February 14th)
Saint Patrick (March 17th)
Nature’s Saint Francis of Assisi
All Saints’ Day / All Hallows’ Day (November 1st)