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Invention & Discovery | June 7-14, 2015Festival Concerts

Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 9am to 4pm

Organ Mini-Festival
Directed by William Porter

The First Lutheran Church of Boston

Tickets available at the door for each recital.

Prima and seconda prattica in 17th-century German organ music
This year’s Organ Mini-Festival celebrates its seventh anniversary by providing a counterpoint to the Monteverdi Trilogy of this year’s Festival, and it does so largely, though not exclusively, with…counterpoint. Organ music dominated by learned counterpoint continued to flourish in seventeenth-century Germany along with music reflecting the new impulses of the seconda prattica. At the same time, German counterpoint begins to take on a strikingly affective power: Strungk, Weckmann, and Buxtehude all were masters of what may be called “emotional counterpoint,” in which traditional compositional procedures generate music capable of reflecting seconda prattica ideals.

Join with John Scott, David Yearsley, and William Porter, as they disprove the adage that “you can’t put new wine into old wineskins.” Featured works will include Nicolaus Adam Strungk’s Ricerar Sopra la Morte della mia carissima Madre Catharina Maria, Matthias Weckmann’s Magnificat secondi toni, and Dieterich Buxtehude’s Klaglied, all brought to life through the vivid sounds of the Richards-Fowkes organ at The First Lutheran Church of Boston.


Among America’s most esteemed organists, William Porter has been a featured performer at each BEMF Organ Mini-Festival since its inception in 2003, and he has served as its director since 2009. In addition to continuing an active performing schedule, he has taught at Oberlin, Yale, and New England Conservatory, and is presently on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music and McGill University.

PART TWO: 11:30AM TO 1:30PM

The only musician ever to win all major prizes at the Bruges Early Music Festival competition, organist David Yearsley is also an acclaimed musicologist and author praised for both his engaging communicative skills and his impeccable scholarship. He is a Professor of Music at Cornell University.


Hailed for his “perfect combination of technical virtuosity and intense musicianship” by Gramophone, organist John Scott has performed on five continents and alongside some of the most prestigious artists and ensembles. He is the Organist and Director of Music at New York City’s St. Thomas Church after serving in the same role for twenty-four years at London’s St. Paul Cathedral.

William Porter

David Yearsley

John Scott