Organ Concert by John Walko
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Jonathan Dimmock and the Spreckels Organ
The Legion of Honor’s Spreckels Organ is one of the few indoor/outdoor organs ever made. View extraordinary art as you listen to a free concert every Saturday at 4 pm, except when the museum is closed.
Join us on Saturday afternoon for a special performance by John Walko.
John Walko studied Theory and Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and Huntingdon College; he studied Piano with Annette Freeze, Andrius Kuprevicius, Tatyana Tsukanova, Liliane Quéstel, and Lili Kraus; he studied Organ and Harpsichord with Dr. Harald Rohlig, Gene Jarvis, and John Balka. ohn performed on location with the symphony orchestras of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Havana, Cuba, for the five-hour silent film Napoleon, to audiences of 30,000 people. He worked with composer Carmine Coppola and director Francis Ford Coppola in the preparation of film scores, and accompanied the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in the Oscar-nominated film Godfather III. John is Organist at Calvary Church and at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor; he accompanies the San Francisco City Chorus, Diablo Choral Artists, and Bella Musica. He performed with Masterworks Chorale, Cantare Con Vivo, Baroque Choral Guild, San Francisco Boys Chorus, OAKE National Children's Choir, and WomenSing, among others. John performed many solo recitals in the USA; also in Paris, Prague, and on the famed Riga Dom organ in Latvia. John leads organist’s tours throughout France, and was an adjudicator for the Bank District English/American Organ Festival Playing Competition in London.
About the Spreckles Organ:
The Legion of Honor's magnificent pipe organ was built in 1924 by the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company of Boston. It was given to the Legion for its opening in 1924 by John D. Spreckels in honor of his brother Adolph who co-founded the museum with his wife Alma de Bretteville Spreckels.
The instrument represents the apex of Ernest M. Skinner's (1866-1960) philosophical approach to organ music. Classically, organ builders seek to emphasize the clarity necessary for counterpoint (separate voices moving in conjunction with each other – typical of the music of Bach); however Skinner championed the romantic ideal, reproduction of the rich, full sound of an entire orchestra, capturing its bold symphonic layering of strings, horns, reeds, and even percussion. The sound is meant to resonate in a non-directional manner, creating a musical quality that seems to float, saturating the space with its presence. Through a legacy of great instruments (beginning in 1901), Skinner left an indelible mark on American cultural history, implementing many innovations that almost single-handedly raised the organ to the premier status it gained in the first half of the twentieth century as an instrument of unparalleled majesty.
Free after museum admission. No additional ticket required. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Every Saturday, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offers free general admission to all residents of the six Bay Area counties.