British virtuoso David Briggs comes to Minnesota for a weeklong series of performances and workshops and master classes in St. Paul (April 2), Northfield (April 4 and 5) and St. Peter (April 8 and 9). These represent Briggs' long-anticipated debut in the region.
An internationally renowned and multifaceted performer, Briggs has been acclaimed for his musicality, virtuosity and the ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages. With an extensive repertoire spanning five centuries, he is known for his brilliant organ transcriptions of symphonic music by composers such as Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Bruckner, Ravel and Bach. Fascinated by the art of improvisation since a child, he also frequently performs in this style in concert and as accompaniment to silent films.
Briggs is artist-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and his schedule includes more than 60 concerts on several continents. Deeply committed to making organ music vibrant for future generations, he enjoys giving preconcert talks designed to make organ music more accessible to audiences. In addition, he teaches at Cambridge in England, frequently serves on international organ competition juries, and gives master classes at colleges and conservatories across the U.S. and Europe.
Briggs also is a prolific composer. His works range from full-scale oratorios to works for solo instruments. He has recorded a DVD and 30 CDs, many of which include his compositions and transcriptions.
Briggs' Minnesota appearances are jointly sponsored by Classical MPR/American Public Media's Pipedreams, the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Olaf College, Gustavus Adolphus College, and the Twin Cities and Sioux Trails Chapters of the American Guild of Organists
You can listen to Briggs on Pipedreams.
David Briggs in Minnesota
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 - St. Paul
Briggs presents a spectacular solo-organ transcription of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 (Tragic), featuring the Skinner and Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs in the Cathedral of Saint Paul (239 Selby Ave., St. Paul). Free/donation
8 p.m. Thursday, April 4 - Northfield
Briggs presents a workshop and master class for students and auditors featuring the Holtkamp pipe organ at Boe Chapel on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield. Free
9:15 p.m. Friday, April 5 - Northfield
Briggs improvises an accompaniment to the 1926 feature-length silent film The General, starring Buster Keaton, while playing the Holtkamp pipe organ in Boe Chapel on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield. Free
6 p.m. Monday, April 8 - St. Peter
Briggs presents a master class for students and auditors, co-sponsored by the Sioux Trails Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, featuring the Hilgreen-Lane/Hendrickson pipe organ in Christ Chapel on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. Free
7:30 P.M. Tuesday, April 9 - St. Peter
Briggs plays a solo concert on the Hilgreen-Lane/Hendrickson pipe organ in Christ Chapel on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. $9-$12