The Organists

Jos van der Kooy studied organ and improvisation with Piet Kee at the Conservatory of Amsterdam where he was awarded the Prix d’Excellence in 1981. He continued his studies with Hans Hasselböck (improvisation), Ewald Kooiman (Bach and French baroque music), Daniel Roth (Franck) and Charles de Wolff (Liszt, Reger, and twentieth-century reportoire).

 

Since 1981 Jos van der Kooy has been the Director of Music and Organist of the Westerkerk in Amsterdam. In 1990 he was appointed City Organist in Haarlem. In this position he presides over the Müller organ in the Great or Saint Bavo church and the Cavaillé-Colle organ in the Philharmonic during the annual recital series. He is involved in the International Organ Festival, Haarlem, as a teacher, adjudicator, and member of the board. Van der Kooy teaches organ, improvisation and church music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the Faculty of Arts at Leiden University. He has recorded for Television, radio and CD/DVD. He is an advocate of contemporary music, especially the works of Dutch composers. His interpretation of the music of Max Reger and César Franck has been met with much approval. As a concert artist and teacher, he propagates the art of improvisation. The following prizes and awards have been conferred upon him:

 

* Tournermire Prize, International Organ Festival, Saint Albans, 1977.

 

* First Prize, National Improvisation Competition, Bolsward, 1978.

 

* First Prize, International Improvisation Competition,

Haarlem, 1980, 1981.

* Prix d'Excellence, as a student of Piet Kee at the Amsterdam

Conservatory, 1981.

 

* Silver Medal, 1989 and Gold Medal, 1990, and Silver Gilt Medal, 2000

of the Société Académique “Arts, Sciences, Lettres,” Paris, for his

services to French Music.

* Knighthood in the Order of Oranje-Nassau, 2011.

Jos has previously performed at Westerkerk and Haarlem during RIPE 53 and RIPE 58.

Rodney Gehrke is Director of Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Organist and Choir Director at San Francisco's Temple Emanu-El, and Professor of Organ at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds a musicology degree from U.C., Berkeley. He is a Past Dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and played the organ and directed the choir at Temple Emanu-El for the opening service of the 2011 Region IX Convention of the AGO. His teachers have included his father, Hugo Gehrke, as well as David Dahl (Pacific Lutheran University), Lawrence Moe (University of California, Berkeley), and Harald Vogel (North German Organ Academy).

In 1985, in observance of the 300th birthday of
Johann Sebastian Bach, Mr. Gehrke played the complete organ works of Bach in twelve recitals. In March, 2011, he played a recital at the church most popularly associated with Bach, St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. In June, 2011, he was the keynote presenter for the 100th anniversary of Seoul Theological University, Korea, where he played a recital, led an Episcopal liturgy, and offered two lectures and a day of masterclasses. In November 2015, he played two recital programs in Yokohama, Japan, on the large Fisk Organ in Minato Mirai Concert Hall.

Mr. Gehrke has performed and recorded as continuo organist and harpsichordist with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and Voices of Music, and has also made two CDs of Mexican Baroque music with Chanticleer, with whom he toured the American Southwest and Mexico in 1998. He can also be heard on the CD collection, "Historic Organs of San Francisco," a performance recorded in 1988 on the historic organ at Temple Sherith Israel at the concluding recital of the national convention of the Organ Historical Society (OHS). He also appears on "Historic Organs of Seattle," also produced by the OHS in 2008. In addition to many solo performances, including frequent recitals at Stanford Memorial Church, he is in demand as organ accompanist for numerous community choruses as well as the two conservatory choirs conducted by David Conte and Ragnar Bohlin. He also occasionally plays organ with the San Francisco Symphony.