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Release: Jan. 16, 2003

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Organist From Notre Dame University Will Give UI Guest Recital Jan. 31

Craig Cramer, the university organist at Notre Dame University, will give a University of Iowa guest recital at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus. His performance, featuring music from the 17th through the 20th centuries, will be free and open to the public.

This first half of Cramer’s recital will feature two of the leading composers of the German Baroque style, considered the first great flowering of music for organ: the Prelude in E minor by Dietrich Buxtehude and the Passacaglia et thema fugatum (Passacaglia and fugue) in C Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Between these two Baroque works Cramer will play the Two Chorale Preludes by an early-20th-century British composer, Ethel Smyth.

After intermission, Cramer will extend the diversity of his program with two works by living composers, portions of the “Incarnation Suite on ‘Puer natus est nobis,’” composed in 1999 by Joel Martinson; and “Lumina,” composed in 1993 by Firmin DeCerf.

Cramer will close the recital with the Second Sonata of 1901 by the late-Romantic German composer Max Reger.

Cramer is professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. One of the most active organ recitalists today, he has performed throughout the United States as well as in Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Scotland and Switzerland. He has performed for regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) as well as for many AGO Chapters.

He has played recently at universities across the United States, including Arizona State, the University of Chicago, Duke, Harvard, Iowa State, Stanford and Yale; at the Spokane Bach Festival; and cathedrals in the United States and Europe. He has also appeared as soloist with the Toledo Symphony, the South Bend Chamber Orchestra, the South Bend Symphony, the Notre Dame Chamber Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia.

Cramer has performed the complete organ works of Bach in a series of 18 concerts performed on mechanical-action organs in Indiana. In 1998 he was guest artistic director of the Redlands Organ Festival in Redlands, Cal. In April 1999 he earned critical acclaim with an all-Bach recital on the new organ by Paul Fritts at Pacific Lutheran University. To celebrate the Bach year 2000, Cramer performed a series of all Bach recitals in 38 cities across the United States and in Europe.

Cramer has recorded CDs on American and European organs for a variety of labels, including Arkay, Motette-Ursina Naxos and Sonic Windows. His recordings and recitals have been featured on the nationally syndicated radio program “Pipedreams,” including a program dedicated solely to him.

Cramer holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a doctoral degree in organ performance. The Eastman School also awarded him the Performer's Certificate in Organ. He won several competitions, including the Alexander McCurdy Competition in Organ Performance at Westminster Choir College and the National Organ Competition at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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