The baroque organ was an artifact of global culture produced by international networks of artists, artisans, traders, and adventurers. “The Organ in the Global Baroque” conference and concert festival will celebrate these organs Sept. 6-8 on the Cornell campus.
The conference is in honor of the late Jacques van Oortmerssen, who was the inspector and a vital musical influence on Cornell’s early 18th-century style baroque organ. Built by a consortium of organ-builders in Sweden and upstate New York under the direction of Munetaka Yokota, this organ will be at the center of the festival. Also on the program will be Cornell’s Neapolitan organ (1748), and a new Friederici-style clavichord by Dietrich Hein.
Organists from around the world will offer concerts of music that stretches from the 17th-century golden age of the organ repertoire to the present, including Annette Richards, Given Foundation Professor In the Humanities in the Department of Music. Keynote talks will be given by Bach scholar, conductor and organist John Butt (Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow), and by Andrew McCrea (The Royal College of Organists and the Royal College of Music, London), an expert on organs and their music.
Papers to be presented at the conference, by scholars at all stages of their careers, will reflect in imaginative ways on the organ in the global baroque, then and now. Topics will range from the East India Company in the 18th century to Bach, the ‘Baroque’ and the Organ in Japan; from diplomatic exchange between China and the West via keyboard instruments, to the global organ business of von Rudolf von Bekerath; from the claviorganum as product of cross-cultural exchange in early modern Spain, to the Organized Piano in late 18th-century North America.
The festival is co-sponsored by the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies and the Cornell University Music Department. Events take place at Anabel Taylor Hall and Chapel, Physical Sciences Building 401 and 120, Barnes Hall Auditorium, Sage Chapel, and the A.D. White House. The complete schedule is online.
Registration is free for full-time students and local residents.