Finding the Organ’s Voices: is Topic of 2018 EROI Festival

October 11, 2018

More Information:
For Media Only: Jessica A. Kaufman (585-274-1057,

With the theme of Beyond the Stops: Finding the Organ’s Voices, the 2018 Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI) Festival will take place October 24–26 in Rochester, NY. The magnificent organs of the Rochester area will facilitate exploration beyond stoplists and stereotypes, celebrating the vast potentials of organ sounds—regardless of chronological, national, or historical styles of organ building.

Featuring concerts and lectures by renowned artists and organbuilders from around the world (including Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark, and Japan), the Festival will bring attendees from across the United States to Rochester. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the installation of three landmark organs in Rochester: the Craighead-Saunders Organ (GOArt/Yokota/Arvidsson) at Christ Church, the Halloran-All Saints Organ (Paul Fritts and Company, Opus 26) at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and the David Tannenberg-style organ (Taylor & Boody, Opus 57) at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford.

An international slate of organists, scholars, and builders will participate in onsite studies of these three instruments, as well as the Italian Baroque organ at the Memorial Art Gallery, the Hook & Hastings organ (Opus 1573, 1893) at Christ Church, and the E. M. Skinner organ (Opus 711, 1928) at Church of the Ascension. This wide range of instruments will present Festival attendees with an opportunity to experience historically diverse performance styles and settings.

Keynote speakers Nathan Laube (Eastman School of Music) and Joel Speerstra (Göteborg Organ Art Center) will identify central issues and propose concepts to be explored during the course of our conversations. Evening concerts will feature Eastman’s distinguished organ faculty, as well as guest artists Hans Davidsson (Sweden) and Thomas Lacôte (France).

Registration for Beyond the Stops: Finding the Organ’s Voices is now open. For the most current information, including registration details and scheduling, please visit

Events Include:

Wednesday, October 24

Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester

4:15–6 PM: Keynote lecture by Nathan Laube

Concert by Edoardo Bellotti on the Italian Baroque organ

Christ Church, Rochester

8 PM: Concert on the Craighead-Saunders Organ (2008) and the Hook & Hastings organ (Opus 1573, 1893)

Public admission: $15 regular/$10 student; tickets available at the door

Thursday, October 25

Christ Church

9–10 AM: Keynote lecture by Joel Speerstra

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Rochester

8 PM: Concert on the Paul Fritts organ (2008)

Public admission: $15 regular/$10 student; tickets available at the door

Friday, October 26

Christ Church

8 PM: Concert on the Craighead-Saunders Organ and the Hook & Hastings organ

Public admission: $15 regular/$10 student; tickets available at the door

David Higgs, Professor of Organ and Chair of the Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards Department observes: “As organists, we play a vast repertoire that spans centuries of national and historical styles, and it’s easy to get caught up trying to play the various styles ‘correctly’— in the process, we can forget to listen to the actual sound of the instrument at hand. This conference and festival will try to help us think ‘beyond the stop names’ and see ways in which sound itself can transcend styles.”

The Eastman School established the EROI Festival in 2001 as a forum for scholarly dialogue and public performances relating to the pipe organ. An important mission of the Festival is to promote the organ locally and nationally. Alongside regular conferences, EROI has facilitated the construction of historically diverse pipe organs throughout Rochester. These organs provide the basis for several year-round concert series, including community concerts that engage the public and provide students an opportunity to perform off campus.

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About the Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854–1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.

About 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division—about 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 percent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Six alumni and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music, and many have received GRAMMYÒ Awards. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community.



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