Episode No. 70 Saturday, October 12, 2019 Stephen Tharp, Concert Organist
“Stephen Tharp is the best organist in America.” The Diapason
This fantastic episode is with the most active concert organist in the world, Stephen Tharp.
Having played more than 1600 concerts across over 53 tours worldwide, Stephen has built one of the most well-respected international careers in the world, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation. He has been given the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In May 2015, he was given the Paul Creston Award which recognizes artistic excellence by a significant figure in church music and the performing arts.
His list of performances since 1987 includes such distinguished venues as St. Bavo, Haarlem; Notre-Dame de Paris, St. Eustache, Paris; Notre Dame de Chartres; The Hong Kong Cultural Centre; the Town Halls of Sydney and Adelaide, Australia; Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; the Duomo, Milano, Italy; the cathedrals in Berlin, Köln, The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; The Kimmel Center, Philadelphia; The Riverside Church, New York City; Rice University, Houston; and Spivey Hall, Atlanta.
Stephen Tharp remains an important champion of new organ music, and continues to commission and premiere numerous compositions for the instrument. The first such piece was Jean Guillou’s symphonic poem Instants, Op. 57, which Tharp premiered at King’s College, Cambridge, England in February 1998. Works dedicated to him include composers George Baker, David Briggs, Samuel Adler Thierry Escaich and Anthony Newman. Himself a composer, Tharp was commissioned by Cologne Cathedral, Germany to compose for Easter Sunday, 2006 his Easter Fanfares for the inauguration of the organ’s new en chamade Tuba stops, as well Disney’s Trumpets, composed in February 2011 for the organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, where it was premiered by the composer the following month.
In April 2008, Stephen Tharp was named the Official Organist for the NY visit of Pope Benedict XVI, playing for three major events attended by more than 60,000 people that were broadcast live worldwide
His 15 solo organ recordings can be found on the labels Acis Productions, JAV Recordings, Aeolus, Naxos, Organum and Ethereal, and are available from the Organ Historical Society (www.ohscatalog.org), JAV Recordings (www.pipeorgancds.com) and Amazon (www.amazon.com).
Stephen Tharp earned his BA degree, magna cum laude, from Illinois College, Jacksonville, IL and his MM from Northwestern University, Chicago, where he studied with Rudolf Zuiderveld and Wolfgang Rübsam, respectively. He has also worked privately with Jean Guillou in Paris.
Music all performed by Stephen Tharp and is available on i-tunes.
“I vow to Thee, my country”. (Thaxted) Album: Great Church Hymns Traditional and New.
Fugue in D Major, BWV 532 Johann S. Bach Album: Stephen Tharp Plays the Organ at St. Bavo, Haarlem.
Station IV Jesus meets His Mother Album: Marcel Dupré: The Stations of the Cross, Op. 29
Danse Diabolique George Baker Album: Stephen Tharp: The St. James’ Recital.