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 "...A powerful rendering of ‘Les Corps Glorieux’... she played with an agility that met the music’s coloristic and rhythmic demands."

- The New York Times

 

Gail Archer is a GRAMMY-nominated, international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer. She is the founder of Musforum, www.musforum.org a professional network for women organists which celebrates and promotes their accomplishments. Musforum will hold its first conference in New York City, June 19 and 20, 2015. Ms. Archer’s advocacy for women organists and composers inspired her most recent CD, The Muse’s Voice on Meyer Media. She promoted this disc in Europe during the summer, 2014, at La Verna Music Festival, Florence, Italy, Bayerischer Orgelsommer, Fussen, Germany, Cathedral of Zakopane, Poland, Parish Church of Nowy Targ, Poland, Parish Church of Nowy Sacz, Poland, Parish Church of Lubaczow, Poland, Parish Church of Krasnobrod, Poland, Vespri d'Organo, Pesaro, Italy, Gorlitzer Orgeltage, Gorlitz, Germany, Kirke Kontoret, Lillehammer, Norway, Corsanico Musica, Corsanico, Italy, Gavinana Music Festival, Pistoia, Italy. During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Archer promoted her recording, Franz Liszt, A Hungarian Rhapsody; highlights include recitals at The Cathedral of All Saints, Milwaukee, WI, Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, La Crosse, WI, Gethsemani Abbey, Trappist, KY, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, Community of Christ Temple, Independence, MO. In summer, 2013, she was featured by the philharmonic societies in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk and Perm, Russia, and played in festivals in Alessandria, Grondona and Scopello, Italy, Tubingen and Hamburg, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark. Her 2011 series in New York City included three concerts dedicated entirely to the organ works of Liszt. In spring 2010, she celebrated the 325th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach with six concerts around New York City, concluding with the Art of Fugue at Central Synagogue. Lucid Culture proclaimed, "Like the composers she chooses, Archer's playing spans the range of human emotions—with Bach, there’s always plenty to communicate, but this time out it was mostly an irresistibly celebratory vibe." In 2009, her spring series, Mendelssohn in the Romantic Century was inspired by Mendelssohn's extraordinary versatility as composer, conductor, performer and scholar and included the organ music of his sister, Fanny Mendelssohn as well as music by Clara Schumann. The series was recorded live and is available on-line at Meyer-Media. Ms. Archer was the first American woman to play the complete works of Olivier Messiaen for the centennial of the composer's birth in 2008. The New York Times declared, "Ms. Archer's well-paced interpretation had a compelling authority. She played with a bracing physicality in the work's more driven passages and endowed humbler ruminations with a sense of vulnerability and awe." Time-Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as "Best of 2008" in Classical music and opera.

Ms. Archer's recordings span the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, a festive discography that highlights her musical mastery on grand Romantic instruments as well as Baroque tracker organs. Her most recent CD, The Muse’s Voice (MM14027) features music by women composers, Jennifer Higdon, Judith Bingham, Nadia Boulanger and Jeanne Demessieux. During the 2012-2013 season, Ms. Archer released her recording of masterworks and transcriptions by the great Romantic keyboard artist and composer, Franz Liszt, Franz Liszt, A Hungarian Rhapsody. Bach, the Transcendent Genius, celebrates the brilliant improvisations on Lutheran hymn tunes of the "Great 18" chorale preludes (MM1013). The release on Meyer-Media, is the first recording on the Paul Fritts tracker organ at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York. An American Idyll, released by Meyer Media in August, 2008 (MM08011), and recorded on the E. M. Skinner/Randall Dyer organ at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, features American organ music from 1900 to the present, including music by Joan Tower and a work commissioned by Ms. Archer, Praeludium super Pange Lingua by David Noon. Her centennial concerts in honor of Olivier Messiaen also produced A Mystic In the Making (MM07007), recorded on the Aeolian-Skinner organ at Columbia University, which includes two complete cycles, L'Ascension, and Les Corps Glorieux. Her solo debut CD The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CACD 88043), recorded on the Fisk organ at Wellesley College, was released in 2006 by London's CALA Records.

Ms. Archer is college organist at Vassar College, and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus. She serves as director of the artist and young organ artist recitals at historic Central Synagogue, New York City.

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Photo credit: Stephanie Berger Photo credit: Stephanie Berger


Photo credit: c/o Gail Archer

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Photo credit: Steve J. Sherman