Reformations and the Organ, 1517–2017

September 10-13, 2017
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA

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Conference-Concert Festival celebrating the inauguration of Paul Fritts, Opus 37 at the University of Notre Dame

In this 500th year since Luther’s 95 Theses, one of the world’s leading Catholic universities inaugurates its new Basilica organ, Paul Fritts Opus 37, with a conference-festival built around the theme of Reformations. While the organ has been compared to a mirror, to a machine and to the human form itself, its identity is not stable: it is in a constant state of flux, reforming and transforming itself and its environment.

We invite performers and scholars to engage with programs and papers that reflect on Reformations and the Organ. Topics might range from the organ in the turbulent ecclesiastical settings of 16th- and 17th-century northern Europe; 18th-century invention and experimentation with the instrument and its music; the Solesmes plainchant revival and new directions in French 19th-century organ culture; transformations in playing style, pedagogy and performance practice; the early 20th-century Organ Reform movement; technological change and novel console design; the organ and the digital revolution; the organ and gender; new recital cultures and the secular organ in history and today.

Reformations and the Organ, 1517–2017 is conceived not purely in historical and ecclesiastical terms, but as a way of understanding, celebrating and contributing to the vital transformations, both sacred and secular, that the organ has undergone and inspired across its long history.

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