The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 16, 2004

Organist/Composer Craig Phillips Will Give UI Recital Jan. 29

Craig Phillips, associate director of music and composer-in-residence at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills, Calif., and a popular composer of music for church services, will present a free recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Phillips's recital will be part of the annual Institute for Sacred Music, hosted Jan. 29-31 by the organ area of the UI School of Music. Admission to other events in the Institute for Sacred Music 2004 is by paid registration only. Interested persons may register for the entire three-day institute, or separately for single days.

Phillips will play a wide-ranging program, from a Prelude by the early baroque composer Nicholas Bruhns to his own "Partita on 'lobe den Herren' (Praise to the Lord)," composed just last year.

Other works on the program will be: "Allein Gott in der Hoeh sei Ehr" (All glory be to God on high), BWV 662 by J.S. Bach; Andante in D major with variations by Felix Mendelssohn; "Annum per annum" by Arvo Paert; "Dieu est simple" (God is Simple) by Olivier Messiaen; and the Choral-Improvisation on the Easter Gregorian chant "Victimae paschali" by Charles Tournemire, as reconstructed by Maurice Durufle.

Bruhns was one of the leading composers of 17th-century North-German organ music who led the way for J.S. Bach. Their compositions, especially the preludes, featured dramatic and improvisatory-like free sections, alternating with imitative fugal sections, and often included virtuostic pedal solos.

Bach set the chorale melody "All glory be to God on high" for organ at least nine times. It was a popular tune in Bach's time, and continues to be sung in churches regularly to this day. This setting Phillips will play features a long, florid ornamental solo line.

The Estonian Arvo Paert, one of today's most popular composers, has lived in Berlin since 1982. "Annum per annum" was commissioned in 1980 for the 900th anniversary of the cathedral in Speyer, Germany. The piece consists of five sections that together symbolize the major musical portions of the mass, which "annum per annum" and day after day has been celebrated for nine centuries in the cathedral.

Phillips' "Partita on 'Lobe den Herren'" was commissioned in 2003 by Roger Seifer of Buffalo, N.Y., in memory of his father Richard Lester Seifert. The tune was the choice of Siefert and is certainly one of the most well known in all Christian denominations. The partita is a form that has been used through most of the history of organ literature; essentially a string of variations, it allows room for a wide range of ideas and expression.

Tournemire was one of the most important figures in the Parisian organ world in the early 20th century. His improvisations were legendary, as attested to by the musicians who went to hear him play. One of those listeners, the composer Maurice Durufle, paid Tournemire a great homage by painstakingly transcribing five of his improvisations from a somewhat primitive recording.

Phillips holds doctoral and master's degrees, as well as the Performers Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. His early studies were at the Blair School of Music in Nashville, and at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he earned his bachelor's degree.

In July 2002 Phillips was featured as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of his Concertino for organ and orchestra during the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Philadelphia. He has been awarded commissions from the American Guild of Organists, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the University of California at Riverside, Washington National Cathedral, and many other churches and cathedrals. His works have received critical acclaim in journals including Clavier, the American Organist, Cross Accent, and the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, and have been broadcast on the National Public Radio program "Pipedreams."

Registration information for the 2004 Institute for Sacred Music is available from the organ department of the UI School of Music, at 319-335-1630.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Phillips's recital and the Institute for Sacred Music are sponsored by the UI School of Music, the Division of Performing Arts, the Frederick T.Rahn Memorial Fund and UI and the River Valley chapters of the American Guild of Organists.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

* * *


January 29-31, 2004
The University of Iowa

Thursday, Jan. 29
1 p.m., Voxman Music Building Room 1052: Registration
2 p.m., Krapf Organ Studio: "Organ Music a la modes," lecture by Martin Marty
3:45 p.m., Krapf Organ Studio: "The Apiritualities of Church Music: A Schematic Approach," lecture by Carl P. Daw, Jr.
8 p.m., Clapp Recital Hall: Free recital by Craig Phillips

Friday, Jan. 30
9 a.m., Krapf Organ Studio: "Composition and Spirituality: Religion and Mysticism in Music," lecture by Craig Phillips
1 p.m., Krapf Organ Studio: "Hymn Trends for a New Millennium," lecture by Carl P. Daw, Jr.
2:45 p.m., Krapf Organ Studio, "Organ Music in Conversation," lecture by Martin Marty
4:30 p.m., Krapf Organ Studio: Student Recital
7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 500 North Clinton St.: Worship Service

Saturday, Jan. 31
9:30 a.m., Krapf Organ Studio: "An Overview of the Organ and Choral Works of Craig Phillips," lecture by Craig Phillips
10:30 a.m., Krapf Organ Studio: Panel Summary

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,