The organist Christopher Houlihan has established an international reputation as an "intelligently virtuoso musician” (Gramophone), hailed for his "glowing, miraculously life-affirming performances" (Los Angeles Times).
Houlihan has performed at Disney Concert Hall with the principal brass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, presented by the Philadelphia Orchestra; and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., presented by the National Symphony Orchestra. The Los Angeles Times raved about his Disney Hall debut, proclaiming, "Houlihan is the next big organ talent."
Highlights of Mr. Houlihan’s 2019–20 season include performances of Joseph Jongen’s monumental Symphonie Concertante with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (opening concert of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival) and the St. Ann’s Festival Orchestra in Washington D.C.; solo recitals in St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, Eureka (CA), Rohnert Park (CA), and Birmingham (AL); and chamber performances as part of the Screendoor Summer Music Festival in Camden, Maine.
Houlihan’s performances with orchestras in past seasons include Barber’s Toccata Festiva with the Hartford Symphony (Edward Cumming, conductor), Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 and Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Columbus (GA) Symphony (George Del Gobbo, conductor), and the Organ Concerto by Robert Edward Smith with the Boston Chamber Orchestra (David Feltner, conductor).
Christopher Houlihan has appeared in recital at celebrated venues across North America and Europe including the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, Glasgow Cathedral in Scotland, and San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and Davies Symphony Hall, as well as at numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. In 2017 he was featured performer at the closing concert of the AGO Southeast Regional Convention at Jacoby Symphony Hall in Jacksonville, where he presented the world premiere of Hannah Lash’s Ludus (written specifically for Houlihan). In 2014, Houlihan performed in a prime-time slot of WQXR's All-Day Bach Organ Marathon in New York City which was webcast live and seen by thousands. Houlihan's “Vierne 2012” tour attracted international attention and critical acclaim for his marathon performances of the six organ symphonies of Louis Vierne in six major North American cities. The Los Angeles Times called his performance there “a major surprise of the summer, a true revelation.”
Building on the excitement and acclaim of “Vierne 2012”, in 2020 Christopher Houlihan releases a recording on the Azica label featuring music by Vierne and César Franck. Recorded on the Church of the Ascension's Pascal Quoirin Organ, the album includes Vierne's Symphony No. 6 in B Major and Franck's Grande Pièce Symphonique. In 2017, Houlihan released Christopher Houlihan plays Bach (Azica). Recorded at Trinity College, the CD was praised as “playful, celebratory and sparkling with color” (The Whole Note), and American Record Guide stated, “there’s no denying Houlihan’s extraordinary achievement.” Houlihan's other recordings include music by Maurice Duruflé and Jehan Alain, and Organ Symphony No. 2 by Louis Vierne, both on Towerhill Records.
In 2017 Christopher Houlihan was appointed to the John Rose College Organist-and-Directorship Distinguished Chair of Chapel Music at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, succeeding his former teacher John Rose. He was previously artist-in-residence at Trinity College, as well as Director of Music and Organist at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan.
In addition to his studies at Trinity College, Houlihan studied with the Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School, where he earned a master's degree, and with Jean-Baptiste Robin at the French National Regional Conservatory in Versailles. In 2015 he was selected for The Diapason's "20 Under 30", a distinguished list of leaders in the organ world.
More information is at ChristopherHoulihan.com.
Christopher Houlihan is represented in North America exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.
Photo credit: Monica Jorge