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SOL Musicians 2017



Jean-Christophe Geiser (Switzerland)

Sunday, 29 January, 2017
Église de la Medaille Miraculeuse – Achrafieh – Beirut

Jean-Christophe Geiser is one of the leading musicians in Switzerland. Geiser has performed in 40 countries on four continents. Geiser is the titular organist of Lausanne’s Cathedral and the artistic director of the Cathedral’s Concert Society. Since 1993, he has served as the organ professor of the Lausanne University of Music. Click here to view Program.


(From here the extended version)

As a leading concert organist, Geiser has enjoyed a successful career. In 1991, at the age of 26, he won the competition for the prestigious position of titular organist of the Cathedral of Lausanne, Switzerland’s most important gothic building. He is currently dean of the organ department at Lausanne University of Music.

Geiser has performed more than 800 recitals throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia. He performed in the cathedrals of Hamburg, Cologne, Helsinki, Brussels, Oslo and Washington D.C., as well as at Notre-Dame in Paris, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, the Madeleine in Paris, the Philharmonie in Munich, at the Stockholm Organ Festival, the Cathedral and Bach Festival in Warsaw, the Town Hall in Melbourne, the Cultural Center in Hong Kong, the Buenos Aires Organ Festival, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig.

Geiser has made numerous recordings for several Swiss radio networks and for DeutschlandRadio, Südwestfunk, Radio Russie, VDE-Gallo, IFO-Verlag and FNAC-Musique. He was the moving force behind the purchase of the new Fisk organ at the Cathedral in Lausanne, inaugurated in 2003, one of the world’s most expensive organs with a total cost of more than 6 million CHF.

He studied at the Berne University of Music with Otto Seger, earning a diploma in piano, and with Heinrich Gurtner, earning a soloist’s diploma with honors. He was twice awarded the Prix de la Fondation Göhner, enabling him to study organ further with François-Henri Houbart as well as to attend a number of diverse courses in performance and interpretation.

Crista Miller (United States)

Thursday, 2 February 2017
American University of Beirut

Crista Miller is director of music and Cathedral organist at Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
She has a very special link with Lebanon. Dr. Miller’s research on Lebanese musical elements in the works of Naji Hakim is published in the December 2015 issue of “ORGAN: Journal für die Orgel” (Okzident und Orient: Libanesische Einflusse in Naji Hakims “Franzosischen” Orgelwerken) and in the 2014 volume “Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire.”

She has been a featured presenter for the Eastman School of Music, the American Guild of Organists, the Church Music Association of America (Miami and Pittsburgh), and the University of North Texas’s inaugural Wolff Organ Conference (Denton). Click here to view Program.


(From here the extended version)

An award-winning organist in international and national competitions (Odense, Denmark; Fort Wayne; San Antonio; and a semi-finalist in the AGO National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Playing), she is very active as a concert player in the United States, performing in 20 states, at landmark locations such as Washington National Cathedral, St. Thomas Church New York City, Harvard University’s Memorial Chapel, Goshen College, the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY, and Cathedrals in Nashville, Oakland, Omaha, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. She has performed in France, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada, including featured appearances at the Svendbørg International Organ Festival; the Festival de Órgano de Asturias Cajastur, and two conventions of the AGO.

At Houston’s Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, she led the organ committee responsible for Martin Pasi’s Opus 19 pipe organ. She oversees the Celebrity Organ Series and leads a growing Cathedral music organization for adults and children. Under her direction, the Co-Cathedral’s Schola Cantorum and Cor Jesu choirs are in high demand for large festive liturgies, including those prepared for Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza’s receipt of the Pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome and the 2016 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.

In 2014, she was the first solo organist to receive an Individual Artist Grant from the City of Houston for “Projections,” three programs of multi-media organ and visual arts repertoire spanning 500 years, concluding with an evening of new music paired with new artworks composed and created by artists connected to Houston.
A proponent of contemporary composition, she served the AGO as the Chair for New Music for the 2016 National Convention, resulting in 15 new works for the organ, as well as multiple winners of the Bayoubüchlein chorale prelude composition competition. She is a member of East West Organists.
As a soloist, Miller’s double CD debut recording “Bonjour and Willkommen” was recently released on the Acis label.

Miller earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in organ performance and literature and the Sacred Music Diploma at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, studying under Hans Davidsson. There, she received the graduate award for the Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative (EROI). In addition, she earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music, and previously, the Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University.


Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet Bocinos (France)

Saturday, 4 February, 2017
Collège du Sacré-Coeur – Gemmayzé – Beirut

Marie-Bernadette participates as concertist and teacher in several European and American festivals and she is juror in international competitions. She teaches at the Pôle d’Enseignement Supérieur Musique et Danse-Bordeaux/Aquitaine (PESMD), institutional partner of her University. She is visiting professor at the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid (Music Department).

She participates as concertist and teacher in European and American festivals and she is juror in international competitions. Her repertoire includes music from the Baroque period to contemporary period. The French Ministry of Culture appointed her as a member of the Commission Nationale des Monuments Historiques which takes care of historic organs in France.

She was awarded first prize at the international organ and improvisation competitions in Rennes (F.), St. Albans (G.B.), Beauvais (F.), as well as the second Grand Prix d’Interprétation of Chartres (F.). She is honorary titulaire of the Cavaillé-Coll organ of Notre-Dame-des-Champs church in Paris. For her academic accomplishments, she received the medal of “Chevalier des Palmes Académiques” in 2010 and the medal of “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite” in 2012. Click here to view Program.


(From here the extended version)

With a doctorate from the Sorbonne, she is a professor at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne where since 1992 she teaches History of Music and Musical Analysis. She is also Director of the Music department, Director of the Arts UFR and Dean of the Humanities UFR.).

She studied organ with Susan Landale, Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Langlais, then at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris in the class of Rolande Falcinelli. There, she also studied in the classes of Jeanine Rueff, Jean-Claude Henry, Marcel Bitsch, Serge Nigg and Paul Mefano, where she won first prizes in organ, improvisation, harmony, counterpoint and second prizes in fugue, instrumentation and orchestration.

She is a Licentiate performer from the Trinity College of Music in London (LTCL), winner of first prize at the International organ and improvisation competitions in Rennes (F.), St. Albans (G.B.), Beauvais (F.), as well as the second Grand Prix d’interprétation of Chartres (F.).

As a musicologist, she writes articles and books about organ and court music in France and Spain from the 16th to the 17th centuries. She has been involved in scientific teams at the Sorbonne (Patrimoines et langages musicaux) where she is a researcher, at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Institut du Patrimoine musical en France, UMR 200), at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne (Artes, Mica, Lapril). She is now active in the group CEMMC of her University and in the CSIPM of the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. With historian Géraud Poumarède, she leads research in Aquitaine on dynastic alliances between France and Spain (16th-18th centuries) and their consequences on political, economical and cultural levels. She regularly organizes international and transdisciplinary congresses in Bordeaux.

Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet Bocinos was born in Bayonne (French Pyrenees, Bask-Gascon Country) in a French-Spanish family including painters, poets and musicians. She married a Lebanese-born composer Naji Hakim in 1980. She has two children.

Bernhard Gfrerer (Austria)

Sunday, 5 February, 2017
The National Evangelical Church of Beirut

Bernhard Gfrerer, one of Austria’s leading organists, is active in all the main fields of the organ world. He is Director of Music at Salzburg’s famous historic Franciscan Church, where he also directs an International Concert Series and frequently performed with the International Music Festival. He also is professor for Organ and Improvisation at Musikum (Salzburg’s City Conservatory) and has taught master classes in the United States, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and Brazil. He also has served as a jury member for several international organ competitions. Click here to view Program.


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Gfrerer is equally in demand worldwide for concerto appearances, solo recitals, as master teacher and adjudicator. Born in Salzburg (Austria), Gfrerer received his training at the prestigious Mozarteum Music University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

His extensive concert tours have taken him to the most prominent music centers in Europe: Paris, Berlin, Rome, Budapest, Vienna, Madrid, Milan, Zürich, Munich, Barcelona, Hamburg, Brussels, Amsterdam, Prague, Leipzig, Dresden as well as South America (Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), Japan (Tokyo, Osaka), Russia, China and the United States.

Particularly known for his interpretations of W.A. Mozart’s music, Gfrerer has produced several recordings for ORF (Austria), RAI (Italy), RIAS Berlin (Germany), Radio Hongkong (China) as well as EMI-Columbia, Domino Records, Sunrise Music and Tomen International Cultural Fund (Tokyo).

He has also released many recordings for recording companies and national broadcast networks.


Cosimo Prontera (Italy)

Tuesday, 31 January, 2017
Church of Notre Dame de Louaizé – Zouk Mosbeh

Cosimo Prontera is professor of organ and organ composition at the Conservatory “Gesualdo da Venosa” in Potenza (Italy). He also teaches basso continuo and ancient organ. He gives master classes in organ at the Notre Dame University of Beirut. He is founder and director of the Baroque Orchestra La Confraternita de’ musici.

He graduated in Organ and Composition and harpsichord. He perfected his studies with Toon Koopman, Wolfang Zerer, Eduard Koiman, and basso continuo and chamber music with Jesper Boy Cristensen, Guido Morini and Errico Gatti. Click here to view Program.


(From here the extended version)

For the publishing house “IL Melograno” in Rome in 2003 he published the first scientific edition “Le Composizioni per tastiera of Leonardo Leo.” He is working on a second book: “The Partimenti and the Cello concertos.”

For Tactus International records, he recorded the world premiere:
• Leonardo Leo: Serenate e candate (tc 693701)
• Drusilla and Don Stradone Intermezzi of Joseph Sellitto (tc 706901)
• Leonardo Leo: La Musica per stanza (tc 693702)
• Various Authors Magnificat and Salve Regina (tc 693703)
and for Bongiovanni records
• Le Finte Contesse, Comic opera by Giovanni Paisiello
Bongiovanni (GB 2 462 / 63-2)

Positive reviews have appeared in magazines such as CD Classical, Opera, Music, L’Opera de Paris International, Contrappunti, Amadeus, Instruments and Music, Music and School and Orpheus.

His ensemble produced various first performances in modern times: the oratory “Il Faraone sommerso” by Nicola Fago; the opera: “La Semigliante di chi l’a fatta, serenade Diana amante” and “The Demetrio of Leonardo Leo;” intermezzi: “Drusilla e Don Strabone of Giuseppe Sellitto;” Concerts for the piano and orchestra and opera “The Finte Contesse of Giovanni Paisiello.”

Prontera was a guest to Musikwissenschaftliches Institut of Basel and the Handel House in London with concerts from the Neapolitan school of XVII and XVIII century.