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01/24/2018

Acclaimed Organ Virtuoso Maxine Thévenot to Headline Latest Recital, New Children’s Component

Quick Facts

 Canadian organ virtuoso Maxine Thévenot will headline Winthrop University’s International Organ Recital Series this February.
 A free children's component will be held on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m.
 Thévenot is the director of cathedral music and organist at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque.

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Maxine Thévenot

 

 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Acclaimed for her “solid musicianship … technical security and poise” by The American Organist, and for her “beautiful registration and flawless playing…another real gem of a recording with ravishing playing” by The Diapason Magazine, Canadian organ virtuoso Maxine Thévenot will headline Winthrop University’s International Organ Recital Series this February for a two-day event in Byrnes Auditorium. The series’ performances will showcase the university’s famed D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ, which is widely considered one of the most historic instruments in the Southeast.

On Saturday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m., the free event “Meet Mr. Harrison” will delight students in second grade and older with two mini-dramas for narrator and organ: “A Hiker’s Gear” by Carson Cooman and “A Sweet for Mother Goose” by George Akerley. Participants will also learn more about G. Donald Harrison, the Aeolian-Skinner organ tonal designer who designed Winthrop’s organ from top to bottom. It was the last complete installation he worked on before he passed away, making Winthrop’s organ one of very few in the world fully designed by Harrison.

The celebrity organ recital featuring Thévenot on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. will feature the music of Barrie Cabena, Denis Bédard, Cabezon, Vierne and J.S. Bach.

Thévenot has been hailed across North America and Europe for her skillful, musical playing and inventive programming. Her recital career has taken her to many major European venues. She is the winner of the 2000 Canada Bach National Organ Competition and a recording artist who has released 13 well-received CDs.

Thévenot currently serves as director of cathedral music and organist at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, where she oversees a program consisting of four choirs and an extensive community outreach ministry.

Additionally, Thévenot is the founder and artistic director of Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, the state’s first professional, resident vocal ensemble and a faculty member at the University of New Mexico, where she directs the state’s only collegiate all-women’s choir, Las Cantantes.

A native of Saskatchewan, Canada, Thévenot received her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Saskatchewan, and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Manhattan School of Music. At Manhattan School she was twice awarded the Bronson Ragan Award for “Most Outstanding Organist.”

Thévenot’s visit and two-day programming is made possible through the Friends of D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ Performance Fund, which was established by Hazel Bailes Somerville ’69 and her husband, Murray, in 2015.

The Somervilles, along with Winthrop’s Department of Music, have worked to bring visiting musicians of the highest caliber to Winthrop.

Hazel Somerville, a music student at Winthrop who served on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as artistic director of the children's choruses at the Blair School of Music, shared how pleased she and her husband are to welcome Thévenot.

“It's an honor for us to enable the D.B. Johnson Memorial Organ to once again be heard in regular concerts, especially with music that is so well suited to this particular instrument. We're thrilled to welcome Maxine and offer a new children’s event to showcase the one-of-a-kind instrument and to share the instrument and love of music with children who may very well become our next acclaimed organists," said Hazel.

Past International Organ Series performers have included James O’Donnell, organist and master of the choristers of Westminster Abbey, Christoph Wolff, the greatest living authority on J.S. Bach, and Stefan Engels, an expert on the works of Sigfrid Karg-Elert.

Admission for the Sunday recital is $15 general admission and $8 for students and seniors.

Tickets may be purchased online.

For more information, please contact the Department of Music at 803/323-2255.

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