Luther College to host annual Benefactors Organ Recital

Luther College will host the Annual Benefactors Organ Recital, an annual recital that features organists of international caliber, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23, in the Main Hall of the Luther College Center for Faith and Life. It is open to the public with no charge for admission.

            This year's recital will feature Marilyn Brattskar, '78, who is currently serving as musical assistant for spiritual life at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, while on sabbatical from her position as cantor at Holmen Church in Asker, Norway.

"Marilyn is a superb organist of considerable renown, as a soloist, leader of church music, and as a collaborative organist, most notably with the acclaimed Norwegian violinist Arve Tellefsen, and the Nidaros Cathedral Boys' Choir," said Gregory Peterson, Luther College professor of music and college organist. "She is the first Luther alum to be featured on this series since its inception more than 20 years ago. I look forward to hearing her play our beautiful instrument."

            This recital will include a variety of works including Mendelssohn's Sonata in A Major, Op. 65, No. 3, three pieces in B Minor representing three different countries and centuries, Bach's "Pièce d’Orgue," Kjell Mørk Karlsen's Sinfonia Antiqua/Organ Symphony No. 3, Knut Nystedt's "Partita on Hos Gud er Idel Glede (In Heaven is Joy)," "Bryllupsdag på Troldhaugen" from Edvard Grieg's Lyric Pieces among other pieces.

            Brattskar is a frequent soloist in Norway and the United States as well as the organist for the Nidaros Cathedral Boy's Choir in Trondheim, Norway, an ensemble that frequently tours throughout Norway and continental Europe. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Luther College as well as a DMA, MMA and K-12 teaching certificate in instrumental and vocal music from Catholic University in Washington D.C.

            The Annual Benefactor Organ Recital features outstanding artists of international caliber exploiting the resources of the Robert Sipe mechanical action organ in the Center for Faith and Life. The intent of this concert is to provide an inspirational role model for current and prospective students who wish to pursue study in the field of organ performance.

This recital is made possible, in part, because of the Kathryn Ulvilden Moen Endowed Fund for Organ and Church Music. The late Kathryn Ulvilden Moen '41, earned a BA in music from Luther College and an MM degree from Northwestern University, continuing her studies at the Konservatoriet in Oslo, Norway as a Fulbright Scholar in addition to studying in Paris with André Marchal and at the University of Minnesota with Heinrich Fleischer. She taught for many years at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls and at Luther College.

William Kuhlman, whose endowment for organ performance also sponsors the event, earned degrees from St. Olaf College and Syracuse University and spent his career as professor of music and college organist at Luther College from 1969 to 2005. Now the William B. Kuhlman Endowment for Organ Performance funds this important event.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and more than 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. Nearly 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

Marilyn Brattskar