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Norman Mackenzie Norman Mackenzie Norman Mackenzie

Kimmel Center Presents

Norman Mackenzie, organist

May 20, 2017
2:00 PM

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Philadelphia native and internationally-recognized concert organist Norman Mackenzie returns to the Kimmel Center for a solo performance on the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ in Verizon Hall. The program will include a diverse program from four centuries of organ literature featuring ballet music from a Medici wedding, a towering masterpiece of Johann Sebastian Bach, the final work from the pen of Cesar Franck and more!


GIGOUT: Grand Choeur Dialogué
SWEELINCK: Balletto del Granduca, SwWV 319
BACH: Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele, BWV 654
BACH: Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650
BACH: Passacaglia, BWV 582
FRANCK: Choral III in a, op. 40
WIDOR: Symphony No. 6 in g, op. 42. no.2, Adagio
ELMORE: Three Chorale Preludes (In vernali tempore, Lancashire, Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
ELMORE: Sonata for Organ (Allegro vigoroso, Prelude on “Herzliebster Jesu,” Toccata)


Norman Mackenzie’s abilities as musical collaborator, conductor, and concert organist have brought him international recognition. Appointed Director of Choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra by Robert Spano in 2000, and holder of its endowed Frannie and Bill Graves Chair, he was chosen to help carry forward the creative vision of legendary founding conductor Robert Shaw to a new generation of music lovers. During his tenure, the chorus has made numerous tours, garnered several Grammy awards for Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance and has three times been invited to sing with the Berlin Philharmonic. At the ASO, he prepares the choruses for all concerts and recordings, works closely with Robert Spano on the commissioning and realization of new choral-orchestral works and conducts holiday concerts annually. During the 2015-16 season, he also conducted a “Shaw Choral Celebration” with the ASO and Chorus and performances of the Rachmaninov Vespers with the ASO Chamber Chorus as part of the Robert Shaw Centenary celebrations. Mackenzie also serves as Director of Music and Fine Arts for Atlanta’s Trinity Presbyterian Church, and pursues an active recital and guest conducting schedule. At Trinity Church, he oversees a program including over 200 participants in six singing and ringing choirs, ages 4 through adult and a vibrant concert series.

Mr. Mackenzie has been hailed by The New York Times as Robert Shaw’s “designated successor.” In his 14-year association with Shaw, he was principal keyboardist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, principal accompanist for the ASO Choruses, and ultimately assistant choral conductor. In addition, he was musical assistant and accompanist for the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, the Robert Shaw Institute Summer Choral Festivals in France and the United States, and the famed Shaw/Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops. He was choral clinician for the first three workshops after Shaw’s passing, and made a critically acclaimed return to partner with Robert Spano in the Berlioz Requiem in celebration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the workshops. He has prepared choruses for performance under Robert Shaw, Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, John Adams, Roberto Abbado, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Labadie, Nicholas McGegan, John Nelson, Alan Gilbert, Yoel Levi, Robert King, James Conlon, and Sir Neville Marriner.

A native of suburban Philadelphia, Mr. Mackenzie made his debut as a pianist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 12, and as an organist at age 20. He made his New York recital debut at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. He holds degrees from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Westminster Choir College. Organ study has been with Robert Elmore and Donald McDonald, with further masterclass study with Russell Saunders and Ton Koopman.

A frequent recitalist and clinician for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association, he has also been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and Minnesota Public Radio’s “Pipedreams” broadcasts. Mackenzie’s acclaimed Telarc recording of a cappella sacred music (featuring the Vaughan Williams Mass in G-Minor) represents the ASO Chamber Chorus’ first recording apart from the orchestra. In addition, he has appeared on the Pipedreams label as organ soloist in Stephen Paulus’ Organ Concerto No. 1, which he commissioned with Trinity Church.


Organ programming is generously supported by the Wyncote Foundation.

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