When you see a bud growing out of the ground, you’re not sure what it is yet, so you water it and feed it, and you wait to see what it grows into. But you don’t want to step on it. And if the bud is very small, all the more important not to step on it.
Yuko Hayashi is gone.
I feel unworthy of eulogizing her. I do not presume to rank among her greatest students—a very long list that includes James David Christie, Carolyn Shuster Fournier, Mamiko Iwasaki, Peter Sykes, Christa Rakich, Gregory Crowell, Mark Dwyer, Kevin Birch, Kyler Brown, Barbara Bruns, Ray Cornils, Nancy Granert, Hatsumi Miura, Tomoko Akatsu Miyamoto, Dana Robinson, Naomi Shiga, Paul Tegels, and others too numerous to name.
I cannot describe, or comprehend, the fortune of being her student between the ages of 15 and 18—at the time, her only high school student. She was in her late 50s—still at the height of her powers, still performing internationally and recording. She brought a constant parade of heavy-hitters to Old West Church in Boston for recitals and masterclasses. During those three years alone (1986–1989), there were José Manuel Azkue, Guy Bovet, Fenner Douglass, Susan Ferré, Roberta Gary, Mireille Lagacé, Joan Lippincott, Karel Paukert, Umberto Pineschi, Peter Planyavsky, Michael Radulescu, Montserrat Torrent, Harald Vogel, and the list goes on. Yuko was something of an impresario. In the 70s, when Harald Vogel was completely unknown in America, she brought him to Old West to play his very first concert here—for $100, which she paid out of her own pocket! Guy Boet, same story—his first concert in America, for $100. In 1972, at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Yuko organized the very first organ academy ever held in Japan, bringing both Anton Heiller and Marie-Claire Alain. In 1985, Yuko, Umberto Pineschi, and Masakata Kanazawa started the Academy of Italian Organ Music in Shirakawa. A list of her accomplishments would be long, indeed.
At the time, I knew virtually nothing about Yuko’s life or career. Meeting her was truly random. It was September of 1985 (Bach’s 300th birthday year). I was skimming the concert listings in The Boston Globe, and I happened to see that there was going to be an all-Bach organ and harpsichord concert at Old West Church, given by Peter Williams. I had never heard a “real pipe organ,” and I had never set foot in a Protestant church before. I had no idea who Peter Williams was, and I had no particular interest in the organ or harpsichord. I was a 14-year-old piano student in the New England Conservatory prep school. The craziest part of all? I had not the faintest idea that the New England Conservatory organ department held their lessons, classes, and concerts at Old West, or that the church’s organist happened to be department chair. Attending the concert was nothing more than a whim.
I was immediately grabbed, both by the sound of the Fisk’s ravishing plenum, and by Williams’s exquisite selections, all from Bach’s youth. I still remember every piece on the program, which opened with Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 739. After the concert, a short but elegant Japanese woman introduced herself to me and shook my hand. I had no idea she had any affiliation with NEC. I’m not sure I even understood that she was the church’s organist.
Who could have predicted that, one year later, September 1986, I would quit the piano and become an organ student of Yuko, taking lessons on that same instrument? But even that was random. In the NEC prep school catalogue, under “Organ,” Yuko’s was the name listed. That’s the one and only reason I contacted her.
Early years in Japan
Yuko Hayashi was born in 1929 in Hiratsuka, a coastal town 24 miles from Yokohama. She was born on November 2. (She used to joke about having been born on All Souls’ Day, having missed All Saints’ Day by only one day!) Many of Yuko’s students would come to notice her unusual perceptiveness. A couple of us thought it bordered on ESP. She had the ability to reach for things even when she couldn’t see them. Case in point: why did a woman who was born in 1929, in a country that was only one percent Christian, decide that she wanted to become an organist, when she didn’t even know what an organ was?
Yuko’s father was a Japanese Anglican priest. He was the pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Yokohama. At age five, Yuko started playing the reed organ at St. Andrew’s. (Soon enough, she became sufficiently proficient to play an entire Anglican service.) In sixth grade, her music teacher suggested she learn the piano. “Hanon: hated it. Czerny: a little better. Burgmüller: not as bad. But then, Bach Inventions! I became hooked on this music. I practiced all hours; I didn’t want to quit.”1 She reasoned, “If Bach wrote pieces for the organ, then the organ must be a wonderful instrument.”2 She knew that she wanted to play the organ, even before she had ever seen one! The only instruments she knew were the reed organ at church and a Hammond. In 2007 I asked her, “When you were young, how did you know you wanted to play the organ if you didn’t even know what an organ was?” She replied, “I knew when I met J. S. Bach.”3 In a 2009 email she wrote, “If I was not exposed to the two-part Inventions by Bach just by chance in my youth, I am positively sure that I [would] not [have been] drawn into music for so many decades since. Certainly, I would not have chosen organ as my main instrument.”4
Finally at age 15 she saw a pipe organ for the first time, in Tokyo. It was important to practice on a pipe organ, for she was preparing to audition for the Tokyo Ueno Conservatory (now named Tokyo University of the Arts). Imagine this 15-year-old girl, in 1944, with bombs falling around her, traveling two and a half hours to Tokyo to practice for two hours on this organ, then making the two and a half hour return trip home. (I recall that, in the 1980s, she told me that this organ was an Estey.5 However, other students remember her saying it was a Casavant.6)
She passed the audition and enrolled in the conservatory. Eight students had to share “a Yamaha and an electric-action pipe organ with a hideous sound. We each practiced for 50 minutes and then let the motor rest for ten minutes in between because it was old and cranky.”7
Study in America (1953–1960)
In the early 1950s, Yuko’s father urged her to visit America. She accepted a scholarship to attend Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. The port of entry was faraway Seattle. The sea voyage from Yokohama to Seattle took 12 days. She arrived in Seattle on July 23, 1953. Tuition, room, and board were covered, but she had only thirty dollars in her pocket (which was all she was allowed). She stretched the thirty dollars as far as she could, though at least she had an Amtrak pass that enabled her to travel by train anywhere in the country.
My father arranged a train trip for me around half of the country, visiting some of his friends. When I arrived in Seattle on July 23 , his friend’s daughter, who was the secretary of St. Mark’s Cathedral, came to pick me up. Within two hours of setting foot on American soil, I played the organ at St. Mark’s. I think it was a Kilgen.8 I met Peter Hallock, and he gave me some of his compositions. From Seattle I went to San Francisco and stayed with my father’s friend there. I heard Richard Purvis play a recital in a museum, and I remember I kept looking around for the pipes, which were not visible. That was my second American organ experience. Next I stayed in Los Angeles for a few days. I didn’t see any organs there, but what I remember most was my first American picnic, a culturally foreign experience for me. Then I went to Salt Lake City, found the Mormon Tabernacle organ and went to two concerts in one day. Alexander Schreiner was there. Can you imagine? Next I visited my father’s friends in Minneapolis, and then the remainder of the summer stayed in a guesthouse at the University of Chicago. Finally, I arrived at Cottey College, and do you know what I found there? A Baldwin organ!9
After a year she was no longer able to stay at the school; however, she received a scholarship to go to any other school of her choice in America. Where would she go? She knew nothing about Oberlin or Eastman. Ultimately, her decision was influenced by having grown up by the sea.
At that school in Missouri, every Friday you know what we had to eat? Fish. That fish must have been dead for ten days by the time we had it. The fish was so fresh in Japan. So I knew I wanted to live near the sea. New York was too big. Washington, D.C., was too political. But Boston . . . .10
And so in 1954 she entered the New England Conservatory and studied organ with the legendary George Faxon.
I spoke almost no English, and he didn’t say very much. So our lessons were filled with music but had long silences! One week he asked me to bring in the Vivaldi[/Bach] A-minor concerto. And I memorized it. I’d never memorized anything before. He didn’t say much. But you know what he did? He wrote on a piece of paper “Sowerby Pageant” and told me to go to Carl Fischer [Music Company] to pick up the music. When I got to the store and showed the man the piece of paper, he said, “Oh, you’re playing this?” I said, “Yes.” I had no idea what it was. Then when I opened the music! Incredibly difficult. At my next lesson Faxon wrote in the pedalings, very quickly, from beginning to end. What a technique he had. And you knew where he got it? Fernando Germani. Once Faxon took me to Brown University to see his teacher, Germani, play the Sowerby. I got to sit very close to him, so I could see Germani playing. And there he was, five-foot-three, his feet flying all over the pedalboard.11
On February 6, 1956, Yuko played her bachelor’s recital in Jordan Hall, her first recital ever. In only three weeks Yuko memorized the daunting program, which included Vivaldi/Bach A-minor concerto (first movement), D’Aquin Noël X, Schumann Canon (probably B minor, op. 56, no. 5), Bach Toccata, Adagio, and Fugue, Liszt “Ad Nos” (second half), Sowerby Pageant, Titcomb Regina Caeli, Dupré Second Symphony (Intermezzo), and Messiaen L’Ascension (third movement).
In 1956, Faxon told Yuko, “This is still a secret, so you can’t tell anybody. But I’m leaving NEC and going to teach at B.U. [Boston University]” Yuko was disappointed at the news. “I wanted to follow him to B.U. I didn’t know anybody else. But he said, ‘No, don’t follow me. You studied with me two years—that’s enough. Stay at NEC.’ And then he said, ‘You must make Boston your home.’”12
Yuko was disheartened and considered returning to Japan. But Chester (“Chet”) Williams, beloved dean of NEC, would have none of it. Faxon’s imminent departure was still a secret. But Chet had another secret for Yuko: “There is another man coming, someone with great ideas.” That man was Donald Willing. On Chet’s advice, Yuko stayed at NEC.
Willing had been to Europe and was galvanized by the new tracker instruments being built. He immediately arranged for NEC to purchase new practice organs by Metzler and Rieger. The 1957 Metzler was voiced by Oscar Metzler himself.
As soon as I touched the instrument, I had an immediate reaction: “This is it! This is a living organism!” My teacher did not persuade me to have this reaction—I had it on my own, from touching the instrument myself. That was 1957. The next year, 1958, I got my M. M. from the conservatory. And that same year, the Flentrop was put in at Busch-Reisinger [now Adolphus Busch Hall]. That was Biggs’s instrument. He let all the students play it. We had to practice at night, when the museum was closed. And we were poor; we couldn’t afford to pay a security guard. So Peggy [Mrs. Biggs] would act as the guard. The Biggs’s were so generous to organ students.13
Not all the organ students were taken by these new instruments. “They would say, ‘Are you going backwards?’”14 Yuko was undeterred. She played her Artist Diploma recital on the Flentrop in 1960.
Leonhardt and Heiller (1960–1966)
In 1960, Yuko joined the faculty of the organ department of New England Conservatory. At this point she had not yet heard of Gustav Leonhardt.
I first heard of Leonhardt from John
Fesperman. Before John went to the Smithsonian, he taught at the Conservatory. The organ faculty was Donald Willing, John
Fesperman, and I, who had just been hired. I don’t know why, but John had been to Holland already, and he said, “Leonhardt is coming; you should go study with him.” So I did. I used to go to Waltham [Massachusetts] to practice cembalo at the Harvard Shop, and once a week I went to New York to study with Leonhardt. He was young, late 20s. A whole summer  I studied with him.15
Yuko so enjoyed her study with Leonhardt that she considered switching to harpsichord. Indirectly it was Leonhardt who dissuaded her.
Finally [Leonhardt] said, “You really should study organ with Anton Heiller.” And I thought, “Who is that?” So I bought records of Heiller. You know, the old LP records. [. . .] [I]t was grand playing. Already I noticed something.16
1962 marked Heiller’s first visit to America and his first ever trip on an airplane! He gave two all-Bach performances on the Flentrop at Harvard University. Yuko attended the first performance and was so impressed that she attended the second one as well.
And you know the most wonderful thing he played? O Mensch . . . with the melody on the Principal . . . . The whole program swept me away. And I immediately said, “This is the man I want to study with.” But I was shy, so I didn’t go to him right away. [. . .] He used to come to America every three years. He had come in ’62, so in ’65 he came back, and he returned again in ’68, ’71, etc. So in ’65 he was teaching at Washington University in St. Louis. I went down there, and for the first time, I met him. [The course was] six-and-a-half weeks. Every morning, he gave four hours of classes. Bach, David, Reger, and Hindemith—on a Möller! Then, in the afternoon, private lessons on a 10-stop Walcker organ in a private studio.17
Heiller urged Yuko to enroll in the summer academy in Haarlem the following year (1961). This marked her very first visit to Europe. She went on to study with Heiller sporadically, following him wherever he happened to be playing. (She was the only Heiller student who didn’t study with him in Vienna.)
Maybe [Heiller] taught differently with other people, but with me, most of what I learned was from his playing, not from his words. [H]e played a lot [during lessons]. But I would move and he would sit on the bench. He didn’t just play over my shoulder. With him, nothing was halfway. [. . .] Funny thing: when he was just standing there, without doing anything, I played better. He felt the music inside him, and it came out. It was a weird thing. [. . .] I performed his organ concerto. Of course he wanted to hear it at a lesson. But I wasn’t ready. He only told me about it three weeks before. But again, he was standing right there. And it’s funny, I was able to play it. You see, he was so perfect, he made me feel I could play. [. . .] You know, I was so little—I’m still little. (laughter) And he was much bigger than me. But he said to me, “Don’t be afraid of the piece.”18
In 1969, Yuko became chair of the organ department of NEC. She remained until 2001, a total of 41 years on the faculty, 30 of which as chair.
First European tours (1968)
Yuko’s first concert in Europe was at the 1968 International Organ Festival in Haarlem. From there she went on to play many concerts on historic instruments in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. “The wife of Hiroshi Tsuji, the Japanese organbuilder, arranged my first concert tour in Europe. [. . .] I soon discovered that I loved going to places where I didn’t know the people or the organs. I like to explore things I don’t know.”19 Here again we see Yuko’s fearlessness in reaching for things she could not see. As Nancy Granert reminisced,
One time, Yuko and I were talking about traveling alone through Europe. I was saying that I always had a map in my purse, and that I really didn’t like being lost. She replied that she loved being lost and to find new places. She, after all, always knew where she was, right?20
Old West Church (1974)
Charles Fisk built one of his most beautiful instruments, Opus 55, for Old West Church in Boston.21 It went on to become the main teaching instrument for the New England Conservatory organ department for decades. The organ was dedicated on Easter Sunday 1971 by Max Miller and Marian Ruhl Metson.
In 1973, Old West was conducting a search for a new organist. The organ committee consisted of the Rev. Dr. Richard Eslinger (pastor of Old West), Charles Fisk, Max Miller, and Jeanne Crowgey.22 Sneakily, but fortuitously, Eslinger and Fisk invited Yuko to attend a committee meeting in December 1973. After this meeting, they took Yuko across the street for a beer or two at a Chinese restaurant and lounge. Yuko enjoyed telling this story.
Charlie said, “Yuko, have you ever thought of becoming the organist for Old West Church?” These were absolutely unexpected words, and my answer was simply, “No.” Charlie kept a smile on his face and went on to tell me how convinced he was for me to be the organist of his organ at Old West, and that it was the right thing for me to do.
I was overwhelmed by his totally positive thoughts, and by the end of the conversation that evening I was convinced that Charlie was right and said “Yes” to him without knowing what the future would hold. [. . .] In February of 1974 I began to play for worship services (as a non-salaried organist), organized organ recitals for the season as well as the weekly lunchtime concerts that, after a decade, evolved into the Summer Evening Concerts.
As I look back [. . .] I say to myself, “How on the earth did Charlie know that I would be the appropriate one?” [. . . .] Charlie then knew that if I were caught by [the] beautiful sonorities that I could not leave them, would enjoy them, would maintain the instrument, and would let it be heard and played by all. [. . .]
As I listened to organ students of the New England Conservatory day by day, year after year, and, of course, through my own practice, I became convinced that the 1971 Charles Fisk organ at Old West is a living organism and not just an organ with extraordinary beauty. This organ responds to the high demands of an artist as if a lively dialogue between two humans is being exchanged. I even dare say that the spirit of Charlie, an artist/organbuilder, is present when the organ is played by any organist who wishes to engage in conversation.23
Yuko remained organist of Old West for 36 years. I was so fortunate to hear so many of her recitals there during the 1980s. I remember matchless performances of Bach’s Passacaglia, Franck’s Grand Pièce, and the Italian Baroque repertoire for which she had an incredible knack. (In fact, I never in my life heard a non-Italian play this music as well as she.24) As late as 2008 (her last recital was in 2010), she gave a performance of Bach’s Pièce d’Orgue that to me remains the benchmark for all others. Few organists can play the middle gravement section without it sounding too long and too heavy. In Yuko’s hands, I was astonished by the articulation of each entrance of each of the five voices. I say without exaggeration that it sounded like a quintet of breathing musicians. I was so gripped by it that, when she got to the final section, I couldn’t believe how short the gravement had seemed.
As a teacher
Yuko made good use of her ESP. As a teacher, not only did she adapt to each individual student, but she adapted to each individual lesson with each student. Each lesson with her was a brand new experience—based solely on what she was sensing in the room at that moment. Besides her perceptiveness, she had something else: a regard for the value of each student. I can never forget something she told me many years later: “When you see a bud growing out of the ground, you’re not sure what it is yet, so you water it and feed it, and you wait to see what it grows into. But you don’t want to step on it.”25 Her next sentence was even more unforgettable: “And if the bud is very small, all the more important not to step on it.” It would be hard to find a famous teacher with that level of regard for even the least talented among of her students.
Yuko’s ear was astonishing. She could have used that ear to be a critic or an adjudicator towards her students. Instead, she worked tirelessly to get them to use their own ear, to make their own decisions and judgments. In her gentle, quiet way (her voice never rose above a mezzo piano), she was relentless in making her students listen to the sound coming from the organ, in particular to be aware of the air going through the pipes. Most of all, she wanted her students to learn directly from the composer.
I will never forget playing Bach’s Allein Gott, BWV 664. The moment I stopped listening to one of the three voices, within milliseconds she started singing it. Then I would get back on track. Then, the millisecond that I stopped listening to another part, she would sing that one. That was how perceptive she was—which was both comforting and frightening! Another astonishing moment in our lessons that is worth mentioning is the one and only time I played Frescobaldi for her. In modern parlance, you could say that I was “schooled.” I was playing the Kyrie della Domenica from Fiori Musicali, which is in four voices. I played it and could tell from her facial expression that she was not pleased. She said one sentence: “You know, this music was originally written on four staves.” I played it again. This time, her face was even more displeased, and she said nothing at all. She sat down on the bench next to me and said, “OK, you play the alto and the bass, and I’ll play the soprano and the tenor.” I was floored. Her two voices breathed. They sang. She got up from the bench, without saying a word. Her point was made, and powerfully.
Yuko and I exchanged many emails in 2009. Many of them concerned administrative details of the Old West Organ Society (of which I was then a board member). However, more often the emails were simply about music.
I remember when I first heard Mozart, in a castle outside Vienna, in [the] early 1970s. It was a big shock to me. While they were performing Mozart’s chamber music, I started to have the image about the leaves of the tree which show the front of the leaf and the back of the leaf, back and forth. Their colors are very different from each other, yet [the] only differences are front or back of the same leaf. It influenced the dynamic control as well in their performance at the castle.26
During this era she always wrote to me as a friend and colleague, never as a “student.” Only once did she give something resembling “advice:”
I believe, there are only two emotions that stand out, “Love” and “Fear.” You have plenty of both, which in [an] actual sense make [a] great artist. Your potentiality is enormous! Don’t waste it, please! After all, it is the gift from God.27
She was pleased, then, when not long after that email I became artistic director of organ concerts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (home of two historic Holtkamps from 1955). In October, Yuko called me to congratulate me. She reminisced about Walter Holtkamp, Sr., whom she met in Cleveland.
He was a strong character, and rather difficult to get along with. Yet, we liked each other. Walter took me for dinner, and to his organ in the Episcopal Church in Cleveland, and I played the organ for him. He liked my playing because I played exactly as I believed.
That led to reminiscing about Melville Smith, who dedicated the larger Holtkamp in Kresge Auditorium. She even knew about Saarinen, the architect who designed both Kresge and the MIT Chapel. One thing led to another. She ended up telling me practically her whole life story. We spoke for four (!)
hours. She did almost all of the talking. There wasn’t a single dull moment. Every sentence was imbued with energy. She talked about growing up in Japan during the war, doing forced labor even as a teenager. She talked about her earliest musical experiences and about more recent organbuilding trends in Japan. She spoke at length about Marc Garnier, who built the monumental organ at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Center. She told story after story about Guy Bovet, Harald Vogel, Peter Williams, and Karel Paukert (in whose presence she set foot in Old West Church for the very first time). She told me about the time she was in France with Michel Chapuis, and she was playing a three-voice work, and Chapuis reached over and improvised a fourth voice over what she was playing. She spoke of Heiller (which she did in most every conversation I ever had with her). She even spoke of events and feelings in her personal life. It is safe to say that it was one of the most extraordinary phone conversations that I have ever had, with anyone. The next time I saw her, in 2010, she showed signs of memory loss. Clearly this was Yuko’s instinct at work, once again: she knew that in that phone conversation in 2009, she needed to tell me her life’s story.
At the 2014 AGO national convention in Boston, there was a workshop entitled “The Organ as Teacher: The Legacy of Performance Pedagogy at Old West Church,” moderated by Margaret Angelini, with Barbara Bruns, Susan Ferré, and Anne Labounsky. Indirectly it was an event honoring Yuko. (Had it been entitled “An Event in Honor of Yuko Hayashi,” she would have strongly objected.) It was hard for Yuko’s friends to see her in this state of diminished powers—at times aware of what was going on, at other times not so much. But then came a moment, after the workshop, when Yuko was standing, chatting with Ferré and Labounsky. All of a sudden she looked at them, pointed to me, and told them, “He’s a wonderful musician.” For me, that was the equivalent of a New York Times review. I have sought no other musical validation since that moment.
Last summer Yuko’s health declined. In September I learned that her condition was so grave that her family in Japan were contacted. Her 88th birthday was to be on November 2, followed eight days later by a celebratory concert at Old West, featuring some of her greatest former students. None of us thought she was going to live until the concert—we expected it to be a memorial service. Each day I checked my iPhone compulsively, not wanting to miss the terrible news. But the news didn’t come. Now it was November 10, the night of the gala concert. Apparently she was still with us—I had not heard otherwise. I arrived at Old West on that bitter cold night. I walked out of the cold into the warm church, and I heard people saying that Yuko was there! At Old West! I didn’t fully believe it. I looked around, and then I saw it: the back of a wheelchair. I raced over, and there she was. Her eyes were as alert as I had ever seen them. This isn’t possible! How did they even get her there, on that bitter cold evening? But Barbara Bruns made it happen. Yuko took my hand in hers and kept rubbing it, looking me straight in the eye the whole time. Not a word was said.
The entire evening Yuko had that same alertness in her eyes, start to finish. Being at Old West, among her students and friends, hearing Charles Fisk’s beloved Opus 55—the energy from all of it must have thrilled her.
A few months passed. For Epiphany weekend, January 6 and 7, 2018, as a prelude at all of my Masses, I played Bach’s Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 739—the very first piece at Peter Williams’s life-changing recital at Old West so many years ago, the night I met Yuko Hayashi. Eerily, but not surprisingly, only three and a half hours after my last Mass, Yuko Hayashi left this world.
1. Phone conversation with the author, July 25, 2007.
4. Email to the author, October 19, 2009.
5. 1918 Estey (Opus 1598) at Rikkyo (St. Paul’s) University, Tokyo. Replaced by Beckerath in 1984.
6. 1927 Casavant (Opus 1208) at Holy Trinity Church, Tokyo. Church and organ were destroyed by a firebomb in 1945.
7. Diane Luchese, “A conversation with Yuko Hayashi,” The American Organist, September 2010, p. 57.
8. It was a ca. 1902 Kimball (not Kilgen), with tubular-pneumatic action.
9. Luchese, op. cit., p. 57f.
10. Phone conversation with the author, July 25, 2007.
15. From an unpublished interview between Yuko and the author, which took place in Boston on February 17, 2004.
19. Luchese, op. cit., p. 60.
20. Conversation with Nancy Granert, January 11, 2018.
21. Seven years previous, and 500 meters down the road, Fisk had installed his Opus 44 at King’s Chapel, the first modern American three-manual tracker organ built in the second half of the twentieth century. The organ was a gift of Amelia Peabody. Thanks to the friendship between the pastors of Old West (Dr. Wilbur C. Ziegler) and King’s Chapel (Dr. Joseph Barth), Amelia Peabody gave a grant to Old West for their new organ. The choice of Fisk was endorsed by the organists of both King’s Chapel (Daniel Pinkham) and Old West (James Busby), as well as E. Power Biggs.
22. Jeanne Crowgey was a member of Old West from 1972 to 1980. She was also an organist, who served unofficially as an interim before the selection of Yuko Hayashi. Crowgey went on to be Yuko’s invaluable assistant during the first six years of the Old West Organ Society. Crowgey did a large amount of the administrative work for the international series, the summer series, and the weekly noontime concert series. She was one of the last friends to visit Yuko before her passing.
23. From a reminiscence written by Yuko in 2004 and posted on the C. B. Fisk website (edited by L. C.).
24. Once in the 1960s she played a recital at the Piaristenkirche in Vienna, which included a piece by Frescobaldi. Heiller was in attendance and raved about how she played the Frescobaldi, a composer she had never studied with him (phone conversation with the author, year unknown).
25. Phone conversation with the author, year unknown.
26. Email to the author, June 10, 2009.
27. Email to the author, September 2, 2009.