Gail Archer

Gail Archer

Gail Archer is an international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer who draws attention to composer anniversaries or musical themes with her annual recital series including Max Reger, The Muse's Voice, An American Idyll, Liszt, Bach, Mendelssohn and Messiaen.

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; Time Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as "Best of 2008" of classical music and opera. Her recordings include her September 2017 CD, A Russian Journey, and The Muse's Voice, Franz Liszt: A Hungarian Rhapsody; Bach: The Transcendent Genius; An American Idyll; A Mystic In the Making (Meyer Media); and The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CALA Records).

Ms. Archer's 2018 European tour took her to Germany, Italy, France, the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic. Highlights include the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Asti, Italy; the Cathedral of Porto San Giorgio, Porto San Giorgio, Italy; the Cathedral of St. Bertrand de Comminges, France; St. Arnual Church, Saarbrucken, Germany; St. Casimer Church, Vilnius, Lithuania; the Philharmonic Hall, Lviv, the Ukraine; and the Great Lutheran Church, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. She is the founder of Musforum, www.musforum.org, an international network for women organists to promote and affirm their work. 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, and is a member of the faculty of the Harriman Institute of Columbia University. She serves as director of the artist and young organ artist recitals at historic Central Synagogue, New York City.

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 (Sept., 2017), A Russian Journey, includes Russian organ literature from the 19th-21st century by Glasunow, Cui, Ljapunow, Slonimski, Shaversashvili and Mussorgsky. 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 RhapsodyBach, 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.

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