Authority on Nordic Music to present Organ Concert
Third Baptist Church – 620 North Grand, St. Louis, MO
June 14, 2017 – 6:00 pm
Third Baptist Church of St. Louis is happy to host James D. Hicks of Bernardsville, New Jersey as the first performer in the summer organ concert series. Hicks is recognized as the leading authority of a relatively unknown and unexplored corner of the organ repertoire: the music of Nordic countries. He has commissioned new works from some of the leading composers from northern Europe, discovered unpublished or unknown works from previous eras, highlighted compositions that have never been recorded, as well as celebrated some of the standard masterpieces of the Nordic school.
Jim has recorded a series of six albums of organ music in churches in Sweden and Finland, and has just returned from Norway where album 7 was recorded, and number 8 is scheduled to be recorded in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2018. This series is titled Nordic Journey, and it has received considerable media coverage, including an entire program on the NPM show Pipedreams, and two interviews on Wisconsin Public Radio.
His program here in St. Louis will be on Wednesday June 14. It’s titled “Nordic Journey-Organ Music from Nordic Lands”. The concert will feature the music of Norwegian composers Kjell Mørk Karlsen and Arild Sandvold, Swedish composers Fredrik Sixten and Nils Lindberg, and Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen, a native of Denmark. Two of the works are newly-composed pieces commissioned by Hicks. The hour-long program begins at 6:00pm, and is free and open to the public. A dinner precedes the concert at 5:00, and reservations for dinner may be made at 314-533-7340.
James D. Hicks lives and works out of Bernardsville, NJ, USA, and holds degrees in music from the Peabody Institute of Music, Yale University and the University of Cincinnati. Other studies include instruction at the Royal School of Church Music in England. He is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists. Hicks held liturgical positions throughout the eastern United States, and in 2011 retired after twenty‐six years of service at The Presbyterian Church in Morristown, New Jersey.
James has performed throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Most recently, he appeared as a soloist at the 2016 Åland Orgel Festival, Mariehamn, Finland. Other performances include a concert devoted exclusively to works that Hicks has commissioned at the 2015 Organo Novo Festival in Helsinki, Finland. In the summer of 2015, he participated in The International Organ Summer, held at the Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland, and as a part of Summartónar in the Faroe Islands. In July 2013 he performed in several organ series in Finland, including the Helsinki Organ Summer and the Turku Summer Festival. He played for Swedish National Radio in March 2012, a broadcast that included world premieres of several modern works from that country.
James has recorded throughout Sweden and Finland on historic instruments, including Linköping Cathedral, St. Johannes, Malmö, Skara Cathedral, Västerås Cathedral, Kalmar Cathedral, St. Michael’s Church, Turku, and Turku Cathedral.
The organ of Third Baptist was completed in 1947, but it has pipes that date from earlier installations in 1920 and 1930. The entire instrument was removed, rebuilt and enlarged and reinstalled in 2013. With 4945 pipes in 72 ranks across 7 divisions, the organ is the largest fully-functional pipe organ in the city of St. Louis. In addition to Sunday morning worship services, the organ is heard in weekly Friday noontime recitals from March through May and September through November. Three Wednesday evening Summer concerts have been added this year. For more information about these concerts, visit wwwfridaypipes.com, or contact the church office at 314-533-7340.