New York, NY — AES conventions have entertained attendees with an organ concert for many years, but, at the 142nd International Audio Engineering Society Convention in Berlin, there’ll be a new twist. On Monday, 22nd May at 8pm at St Matthias Church, in the Schöneberg area of the city, classical themes will morph into jazz style on one of the city’s finest pipe organs, played by organists Francis Rumsey, chair of the AES Technical Council, and Sigrid Erbe-Sporer, wife of the convention’s papers co-chair, Thomas Sporer.
Included in Francis’ program will be Mozart’s Fantasia in F minor and Widor’s Finale from the 6th Organ Symphony. Progressing into jazz style for the second half, Sigrid starts with “Mozart Changes” composed by Zsolt Gárdonyi, which starts in classical style and gradually shifts into jazz mode. Continuing with the theme of classically influenced jazz from Christian composers, the performance will include “Suite Jazzique” of Johannes Matthias Michel, inspired by the well-known “Suite Gothique” of Leon Boellmann.
“I’m excited to be playing again at St Matthias,” says Francis. “Bach is reported to have said that reverberation is the most important stop on the organ, and there’s plenty of it to be had in this place. It’s going to be interesting to work with Sigrid, and to hear her jazzy ‘Mozart Changes’ after my straight Mozart. Do come along and experience it for yourselves!”
The current organ at St Matthias was originally built in 1958 by the firm of Romanus Seifert & Son, consisting of four manuals and pedals. It is distributed spatially and the considerable reverberation of the space gives it an impressive but challenging acoustic context. From 1972 to 1974 it was enlarged by Seifert to become what was then the largest organ in Berlin, containing 109 ranks and 74 stops. In 1993 it was subject to a general overhaul during the church renovation, and a new console was built by Stockmann. Thanks to recent additions in 2008 to 2009 it now has an extensive combination system and a few more ranks, bringing the specification to 111 ranks and 76 stops, arranged on four manuals and pedal. More information can be found at http://www.die-orgelseite.de/specials/stmatthias/stmatthias_e.htm, and http://st-matthias-berlin.de/musik/die-st-matthias-orgel.html
AES Fellow Francis Rumsey studied organ performance with Ann Elise Smoot. At recent conventions he has given organ recitals at the Cathedral of the Polish Army, Warsaw, St Etienne du Mont, Paris (Maurice Duruflé’s church for many years), and St Matthias, Berlin. He is currently a technical writer and consultant and serves as Chair of the Technical Council of the Audio Engineering Society, alongside his musical activities. He also consults on various aspects of digital church organs.
Sigrid Erbe-Sporer started playing the piano at age 7, violin aged 11 in Ingolstadt, and pipe organ at age 14. She currently teaches piano to children and adults, plays the organ at different congregations in the Nuremberg region, and performs the harpsicord and the piano together with the ensemble Pegnitzschäfer-Klangkonzepte and Christian Gabriel. For several years now she’s played jazz on pipe organ and has her own jazz combo, and her newest project is bringing together pipe organ and saxophone.
Make plans to attend this unique AES organ concert experience while in Berlin:
Monday, 22nd May, 2017, 8pm (20.00h) Goltzstraße 29 (am Winterfeldtplatz), Berlin
For further information on the AES Berlin Convention visit aeseurope.com.