This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo Credit: Buck Ennis

Vassar’s Organist Extraordinaire

On February 6 in New York City, Gail Archer – the official concert organist for Vassar College and the director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University – kicks off a Franz Liszt-centered concert series in honor of the composer’s bicentennial. The free concerts coincide with the release of her latest CD, Franz Liszt, A Hungarian Rhapsody. The events continue a 2010-2011 schedule that has taken the critically acclaimed organist throughout the United States, including to Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, plus Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany (and, of course, Vassar College).

This marks the fourth year she’s embarked on a composer-centric series, focusing on Messiaen in 2007-2008, Mendelssohn in 2009, and Bach in 2010. Last year’s Bach tribute marked the composer’s 325th anniversary, as well as the release of Archer’s 8th CD,J.S. Bach, The Transcendent Genius, which was the first-ever recording on Vassar’s Paul Fritts tracker pipe organ, which has more than 2,400 pipes. Despite this year’s emphasis on Liszt, Archer hasn’t abandoned Bach entirely. Later this month, on February 16, she performs his “B Minor Mass” at Carnegie Hall. – PB

February 2011

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