2022 A Celebration of César Franck (1822-1890) 

October 10-12, 2022

Cesar Franck at the organ

St. John’s Organ Society presents three evenings of organ and chamber music in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Belgian-born French composer, pianist, organist and teacher César Franck (1822-1890). 

On Monday through Wednesday, October 10 – 12, a distinguished group of musicians will perform organ and chamber music by Franck, his teacher François Benoist, and related compositions of the period.  All three recitals begin at 7:30pm* at St. John’s Catholic Church, 207 York Street in Bangor.  Admission is free, and donations are appreciated. 

Featured performers are organists Kevin Birch (St. John’s Organ Society), Jonathan Moyer (Oberlin Conservatory), Dana Robinson (University of Illinois), violinist Anatole Wieck (University of Maine), and pianist Carmen Peralta (Middlesex Community College).

Featured instruments include St. John’s E. & G. G. Hook Organ, Opus 288, (1860), Maine’s largest 19th-Century mechanical-action pipe organ, and a Parisian harmonium by Alexandre Père & Fils made in 1860.

Monday, October 10 – 7:30pm
Music for Violin, Piano, Harmonium, Organ
Featuring Anatole Wieck, violin; Carmen Peralta, piano; Kevin Birch, organ and harmonium
César Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano (1886), Chorale No. 3 for Organ (1890), and related works
E. & G. G. Hook Organ, Opus 288 (1860) and Harmonium by Alexandre Père & Fils (1860)

Tuesday, October 11 – 7:30pm
Featuring Jonathan Moyer, organ 
César Franck’s monumental Grand Piece Symphonique and works of Franck’s teacher François Benoist (1794-1878)
E. & G. G. Hook Organ, Opus 288 (1860) and Harmonium by Alexandre Père & Fils (1860)

Wednesday, October 12 – 7:30pm*
Featuring Dana Robinson, organ
César Franck’s Trois Pièces (1878) and related works for organ and harmonium
E. & G. G. Hook Organ, Opus 288 (1860) and Harmonium by Alexandre Père & Fils (1860)
*Join us for a special pre-concert demonstration of the Alexandre Père et Fils Harmonium (Paris 1860) by Kevin Birch, Executive Director – St. John’s Organ Society – on Wednesday, October 12, 6:45pm.


Kevin Birch began organ studies with Yuko Hayashi on the C. B. Fisk organ at Old West Church in 1979 and earned the Bachelor of Music Degree at New England Conservatory (with Distinction in Performance) in 1987. 

Kevin Birch
Kevin Birch

He continued studies with Klaas Bolt at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam and later with Delores Bruch at the University of Iowa where he earned the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees.  Since 1992 he has served as Director of Music at St. John’s Catholic Church in Bangor, Maine where he also serves as Executive Director of St. John’s Organ Society – a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of E. & G. G. Hook’s Opus 288 built for St. John’s Church in 1860.   Kevin is a member of the music faculty at the University of Maine’s School of the Performing Arts in Orono and serves on the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of Portland.  He has performed solo recitals in the US, Canada, Europe, and in South America, and for several national conventions of the Organ Historical Society.  He is especially devoted to the many fine historic organs in Maine on which he enjoys frequent opportunities to study and perform.

Jonathan William Moyer is the David S. Boe chair and associate professor of organ at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and is organist of the Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, OH. He has also been a visiting-lecturer in organ at the Hochschule für Musik in Lübeck, Germany.

Jonathan Moyer
Jonathan Moyer

He specializes in a vast repertoire from the renaissance to the 21st century, and has performed throughout the United States, and in Europe and Japan. The Baltimore Sun has described his playing as “ever-expressive, stylish, and riveting.” Cleveland Classical.com said of Moyer’s playing, “It’s delightful to hear an organ recital where everything seems so right and the playing so much in the service of the instrument and the repertoire.”

Recent concerts include St. Jakobikirche (Lübeck), Marienkirche (Berlin), Ludgerikirche (Norden), Laurenskerk (Alkmaar), the Marktkirchethe (Hannover), Blois Cathedral (France), and J.S. Bach’s complete Clavierübung III at the German Reformed Church in Budapest, Hungary and in Loraine, Ohio. He has performed with numerous ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), Quire Cleveland, Concert Artists of Baltimore, and the Handel Choir of Baltimore.

At the Church of the Covenant, Dr. Moyer oversees two remarkable pipe organs (E.M. Skinner/Aeolian Skinner/Holtkamp and Richards Fowkes, Op. 19). His lauded CD “Voices of the Hanse,” recorded on the 1637 Stellwagen organ Lübeck, Germany, was released on Gothic Records  and features music from 17th-century North German sources.

Dr. Moyers holds degrees in organ and piano from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Institute of Music, and Bob Jones University. His teachers include Donald Sutherland, Gillian Weir, Olivier Latry, James David Christie, and Ann Schein. In 2008, he received the second prize in the Sixth International Musashino Organ Competition in Tokyo, Japan, and in 2005 he was a finalist in the St. Albans International Organ Competition. He is represented by WindWerk Artists.

Dr. Moyer resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio, along with his wife, organist, Dr. Kaori Hongo, and sons, Christopher Sho and Samuel Kazu.

For decades, organist Dana Robinson has created programs of the finest repertoire carefully chosen to capture the essence of each unique instrument he performs on. Described in The Diapason as “an “organists’ organist” with “faultless accuracy, rhythmic drive, and astounding musical sensitivity,” Dana has also been lauded in The Tracker for offering “the pièce de resistance of the evening . . . put[ting] heart and soul into the four movements of Widor’s monumental Symphonie Gothique.”

Dana Robinson
Dana Robinson

His credits include performances for the national conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Westfield Center for Early Keyboard Studies, as well as for regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists. In duo concerts with Paul Tegels, Professor of Organ at Pacific Lutheran University, Dana explores repertoire by J. C. Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Saint-Saëns, among others. His recording of J. S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein is available on the Arsis label, and his recent video recordings on a rare antique pedal piano of works by Robert Schumann can be viewed on the YouTube channel, “Dana Robinson Organist.”

As Associate Professor of Organ and Chairman of the Keyboard Area at the School of Music at the University of Illinois, Dana has taught students who have gone on to earn top honors at The National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance of the American Guild of Organists, the Shanghai Conservatory International Organ Competition, the Albert Schweitzer Competition, the Arthur Poister competition, and the Franz Schmidt International Competition (Austria.) Dana previously taught at Central College (Iowa) and Luther College. He has served as Organist and Choirmaster at Trinity Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa, and is currently Organist at Grace Lutheran Church in Champaign, Illinois.

Born in Latvia, Anatole Wieck received his first musical education in Riga and Moscow. In the United States since 1973, he studied violin and viola at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, where he completed his Doctorate in Musical Arts working closely with Ivan Galamian, Lillian Fuchs, and Paul Doktor. He also studied baroque interpretation with Carol Lieberman at Boston University. He plays baroque viola, viola d’amore and baroque violin. 

Anatole Weick
Anatole Weick

Since 1986 Dr. Wieck has taught upper strings at the University of Maine and conducted the University of Maine Orchestra. He has performed and conducted in Europe, North and South America, and has participated in chamber music festivals such as Chamber Music/West (San Francisco), White Nights (St. Petersburg, Russia) and festivals in Montepulciano, Italy and Newport, Rhode Island. He was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in 2006 in Guatemala.

Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, pianist, has appeared as piano soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Peru, and Mexico. As a winner of Artists International Young Musicians Auditions, she was presented in two solo recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. Of her debut, The New York Times review called her “a thoughtful musician; her playing was full of intelligence and poetry…a pianist well worth hearing.”

Carmen Peralta
Carmen Peralta

Ms. Rodríguez-Peralta has performed at Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Seiji Ozawa Hall in Tanglewood, and in the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago and Los Angeles. She has also given recitals throughout Peru, her father’s native country, under the auspices of the American Embassy. As a chamber musician, she frequently performs with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Her recordings include Teresa Carreño: Solo Piano and Chamber Works, her collaboration with cellist Luis Leguía in Music for Cello and Piano from South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and A Peruvian Sojourn: Music Inspired by Andean Indigenous Melodies, Rhythms, and Traditions, which was released by Albany Records in April 2022. Her upcoming album, featuring preludes and fugues for piano by Larry Bell, will be released in December.

Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta holds a Bachelor of Music from Temple University, a Master of Music from The Catholic University of America and a Post-Graduate Diploma from The Juilliard School. Her teachers include Maryan Filar, Ney Salgado, and Beveridge Webster. While at Juilliard she was the teaching assistant of American composer Vincent Persichetti. She is currently the Chair of the Music Department of Middlesex Community College in Bedford, MA and Director of A World of Music Concert Series.

Maine native Scott Burditt has been a public and private school music teacher for more than 35 years, working with students from grade 3 through college. Principal Horn and Personnel Manager for the Bangor Symphony, he is also Co-Principal Horn, Assistant Conductor and Librarian for the Bangor Band, and the Horn instructor at the University of Maine. He holds a Masters Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Maine.

Scott Burditt
Scott Burditt

As a professional horn player, he has played with many of the performing groups in Maine, including the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the Bangor Symphony, Maine State Music Theater, PORTopera Orchestra, the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra, college orchestras, brass quintets, woodwind quintets and community bands.