Today’s spotlight falls on Chelsea Chen, Isabelle Demers and Aaron Tan.
View their photos and bios below!
Summer Organ Academy All-Star Concert
Rosedale United Church
Monday, June 26, 2023; 7 pm
Freewill offering, donations gratefully accepted
American organist and composer Chelsea Chen is internationally renowned for her concerts of “rare musicality” and “lovely lyrical grandeur,” and a compositional style that is “charming” and “irresistible” (Los Angeles Times). Originally from San Diego, California, she studied the organ at The Juilliard School with Paul Jacobs and John Weaver and at Yale University with Thomas Murray. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan where she collected folk songs and composed new music for the organ. Now based in Zürich, Switzerland, she is a concert organist with frequent performances in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Recent highlights include performing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony, as well as solo concerts at Los Angeles's Disney Hall and Dallas's Meyerson Hall. She collaborates often with New York cellist Joesph Lee and frequently premieres music by composers including Yui Kitamura and Julian Revie. For more information about Chelsea's compositions and concert dates visit her website at www.chelseachen.com.
With playing described as having “bracing virtuosity” (Chicago Classical Review) and being “fearless and extraordinary” (Amarillo-Globe News), Isabelle Demers has enraptured critics, presenters, and audience members around the globe.
She has appeared in recital throughout Europe, Oman, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, including at the Cathedrals of Cologne and Regensburg (Germany); the ElbPhilharmonie(Hamburg); the Royal Festival Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey (London); City Hall (Stockholm); the Royal Opera House of Muscat (Oman); the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing, China); Victoria Hall (Singapore); Melbourne Town Hall (Australia); Auckland Town Hall (New Zealand); Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Davies Hall (San Francisco), the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Kimmel Center, and the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s (Philadelphia); and the Maison Symphonique(Montréal).
Dr. Demers is in continual high demand by her colleagues as witnessed by performances for numerous regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Institute of Organ Builders and International Society of Organbuilders, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society. She has released multiple CD recordings on the Acis and Pro Organo labels. Her latest CD, recorded at Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel, was released in January 2020, and includes works of Reger, Laurin, Dupré, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Macmillan.
A native of Québec and a doctoral graduate of the Juilliard School, Dr. Demers is Associate Professor of Organ at McGill University (Montréal, Québec). She was formerly the Joyce Bowden Chair in Organ and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University (Waco, Texas).
Concert organist Aaron Tan is a leading young artist in North America. He is the only person to have received first-prize in three of the most major North American organ competitions: the Canadian RCCO National Organ Competition, the AGO National Young Artists Competitionin Organ Playing (NYACOP), and most recently in October 2021, the Canadian International Organ Competition. Originally from the Philippines and Canada, he is an organist and pianist who enjoys multi-faceted careers as a musician and a materials scientist. His primary musical tutelage has been with John Tuttle, David Palmer, Joel Hastings, Martin Jean, and David Higgs.
Mr. Tan is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Eastman School of Music and also serves as Organist and Director of Music at St. Alban's Catholic Church (Ordinariate in Rochester, NY). He recently received his MM and MMA from Yale University. Previously he has served as Organ Scholar at St. John's Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan, Artist in Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, and Organ Scholar at the Church of the Resurrection, New York City.
As a scientist, Aaron holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Michigan and worked there as a postdoctoral researcher after earning his degree, studying polymer thin films.
More information about Aaron's musical interests and activities can be found at www.AaronTan.org.