It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the 2015 edition of the McGill Summer Organ Academy which will be our 10th Academy. It is especially appropriate that we welcome Edoardo Bellotti to teach Italian baroque keyboard music on the 400th Anniversary of Frescobaldi’s publication of his Libro primo in Rome. This serves as a salutary reminder of how rich and vast our keyboard repertoire truly is.

I am especially pleased that we will be able to visit the Benedictine Abbey at St-Benoît-du-Lac on our field trip. William Porter will give an all-Bach recital on the Karl Wilhem organ in the afternoon. Then we will go to the Auberge in West Brome where we will be hosted by Mme Constance Pathy for our evening meal. This will be followed by a concert of keyboard music by the Ialian masters played by Edoardo Bellotti at the Old Brick Church. This promises to be an unforgettable day in the Eastern Townships which is one of my favourite areas in the countryside of Québec.

The other concerts during the Academy will provide an even wider variety of instruments this year. You will have a chance to hear Olivier Latry on the celebrated Beckerath organ at St. Joseph’s Oratory. This instrument, which was Beckerath’s largest, was recently restored by Juget-Sinclair. Also, the Beckerath organ at l’Église de l’Immaculée-Conception will be heard in a recital with James David Christie. Sietze de Vries will be heard in recital on the Casavant at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. The closing concert of the Academy in St. James United Church will be played by Hans-Ola Ericsson on the 1891 Wadsworth organ, recently restored by Létourneau. This concert will celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the births of Sibelius and Nielsson. The French classical organ built by Hellmuth Wolff for Redpath Hall will be heard in our opening concert of contemporary music played by Adrian Foster, and again in another concert by Hans-Ola Ericsson. These concerts all add up to a wonderful festival of keyboard music spanning over four centuries of music. We have a rich heritage indeed.

I would like to draw your attention to an Exhibition of plans and drawings by the late Hellmuth Wolff in our Music Library. This Exhibition was prepared for the 2015 International Conference of the Historical Keyboard Society of North America, and hosted by McGill this past May. This exhibition will remain on view till the end of October.

I look forward to greeting many old friends at the 2015 Academy and hopefully many new friends as well. You are welcome to come for Week 1 or for Week 2, but better still the the entire Academy. Please do not hesitate to contact Devon or Jonathan at organ@music.mcgill.ca should you have any questions.

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