Organ Concert by Jonathan Dimmock
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 this Saturday afternoon for a special concert by our principal organist Jonathan Dimmock.
Principal Organist Jonathan Dimmock is well-known internationally as a recitalist, accompanist, ensemble musician, non-profit founder, and writer. A graduate of Oberlin and Yale, he has the unique privilege to have been the only American Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey; he has also served three American cathedrals: St. John the Divine (New York), St. Mark’s (Minneapolis), and Grace (San Francisco). Jonathan lives in San Francisco, where he was Music Director at St. Ignatius Church and where he is currently Principal Organist at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Organist for the San Francisco Symphony, Director of Music at Congregation Sherith Israel, Organ Instructor at Sonoma State University, Organ Conservator of the Manuel Rosales Opus 16 at First Presbyterian Church (Oakland), and a regular freelance performer.
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 in a first-come, first-served basis. Every Saturday, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offers free general admission to all residents of the six Bay Area counties.
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