Third Prize, Westfield International Organ Competition 2013
Recognized as a “Rising Star” by the American Guild of Organists (AGO), Dexter Kennedy is a concert organist, church musician, and a passionate advocate for the promotion and advancement of the organ and its repertory. His concert programs present spirited performances that are both fiery, spontaneous, and historically informed,exciting both music connoisseurs as well as people who have never experienced the organ in concert setting.
Mr. Kennedy is increasingly active as a recitalist having performed at several celebrated church venues, including Washington National Cathedral, St. Thomas Church 5th Avenue, The Brick Church, and The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York, First Lutheran Church, Boston, The Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Bower Chapel, Naples, Florida, The Community Church of Vero Beach, and National City Christian Church, Washington, D.C.. In November of 2012, he performed a recital at the Rozsa Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of Calgary as a featured Young Artist for the Calgary Organ Festival and Symposium. His performance at Boston’s First Lutheran Church in March 2013 was broadcast live on WGBH Classical New England Radio as part of their “Bach Around the Clock”.
An active organ accompanist, Kennedy toured Rome with the University Chorale of Boston College in 2013, including a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. He also served as the Chorale’s accompanist for a tour of Barcelona and Madrid. He traveled with the choristers of the Seabury Academy of Music and the Arts in Norwalk, CT, to England in the summer of 2013, where he accompanied the ensemble in Worcester Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, and St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. As a teacher, Kennedy has twice served on the faculty of the Oberlin Summer Organ Academy for High School Students. As a participant of the 2012 Haarlem Summer Organ Festival and Academy (The Netherlands), he performed on the famed 1738 Müller organ in the Grote of St. Bavokerk as part of the select student recital.
Kennedy’s performances have resulted in prizes in several competitions. He won First Prize in the 2009 AGO Region V Quimby Competition for Young Organists, Runner Up in the 2012 Miami Organ Competition, and most recently was awarded the Third Prize at the 2013 Westfield Center International Organ Competition.
A devoted church musician, Kennedy currently serves as Director of Music and Organist for Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s on the Green Episcopal Church, Norwalk, CT, and as Organist for Marquand Chapel, Yale Divinity School.
Kennedy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organ Performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, where he studied organ with James David Christie and Olivier Latry, harpsichord and continuo playing with Webb Wiggins, and also studied orchestral conducting. Currently, he is a Masters Degree candidate at the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music as a recipient of d the Robert Baker Award, a prize granted to a student deemed to be among the top 1 or 2 percent of the young organists in the country. He studies organ with Martin Jean, harpsichord with Arthur Haas, and improvisation with Jeffrey Brillhart. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing and vigorously rooting for the professional sports teams in his native Detroit. More information about Kennedy and his schedule can be found at his website, www.dexterkennedy.com