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Christopher Houlihan

March 25, 2024
Christopher Houlihan

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 concertized at major venues throughout the United States, including the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), and Walt Disney Concert Hall, where he performed with the principal brass of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Los Angeles Times raved about his Disney Hall debut, proclaiming, "Houlihan is the next big organ talent."

Houlihan’s performances in 2024 include a return invitation to the Aspen Music Festival (Colorado) and orchestral performances with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (Carolyn Kuan, conductor). Performances in recent seasons included solo recitals presented by the Madison Symphony Orchestra (Wisconsin), the Pacific Symphony (Costa Mesa, CA), and the Celebrity Recital Series at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London).

Noted for his compelling performances of Louis Vierne’s organ works, Houlihan's “Vierne 2012” tour attracted international attention and critical acclaim for marathon recitals of Vierne’s six organ symphonies 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 this excitement and acclaim, Houlihan’s latest recording on Azica Records (released in 2023) features Vierne’s Symphony No. 6 and César Franck’s Grande Piece Symphonique. The recording was praised by The American Organist, which remarked, “as for Houlihan himself, he just keeps getting better.”

Christopher Houlihan’s orchestral performances in past seasons include Joseph Jongen’s Symphonie Concertante (Carolyn Kuan, conductor) and Barber’s Toccata Festiva (Edward Cumming, conductor) with the Hartford Symphony, Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Waterbury (CT) and Columbus (GA) Symphonies, and the Organ Concerto by Robert Edward Smith with the Boston Chamber Orchestra (David Feltner, conductor). He has been presented in recital at numerous conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. In 2017 he was the 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 Han Lash’s Ludus (written specifically for Houlihan). In 2014, he 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.

In 2017, Houlihan released Christopher Houlihan plays Bach (Azica). Recorded at Trinity College, the album 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.

Christopher Houlihan is the John Rose Distinguished College Organist and Director of Chapel Music, and Artist-in-Residence at Trinity College, Hartford, where he succeeds his former teacher, John Rose. Since 2022, he also serves as Artistic Director of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival Hartford which presents one of the premier North American organ performance competitions for young organists.

In addition to his studies at Trinity College, Houlihan studied with Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School 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 young 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. www.concertartists.com
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: 860-560-7800
10 Abbott Lane, Dearborn, MI 48120-1001

Photo credit: Christian Steiner