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GORDON RUMSON writes about the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition, 7-17 August 2002


I am sometimes a little embarrassed that I must sign my tag lines 'Calgary, Alberta'. Readers of Music & Vision must tire of this, wondering what could possibly go on in such a remote place.

Actually, when I told a Swiss composer friend I wasn¹t really born in Calgary, but was born in Montreal, he said: 'What? In Montreal?? Now I have respect for you!!'

On the other hand if you saw the twin beams of light memorial at the World Trade Centre the lights were built in Calgary. If you use Java on your computer one of the major developers was from Calgary. When you watch the latest submarine thriller with Harrison Ford, K-19, the sets for the submarine were built about three blocks from my house. And finally, if your stocks took a nosedive thanks to Worldcom, then you might wish thank the Alberta born founder of that company ... Sorry about that.

Simon Preston
Simon Preston

But, Calgary is also home to one of the most remarkable and prestigious organ competitions and festivals in the world. The artistic director is no less than Simon Preston and the laureate of the very first event is Kevin Bowyer. The Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition is going on right now and the competitors are proving themselves of high quality. There is a stunning array of associated concerts, such as the great American composer/pianist William Bolcom and the Nexus Percussion Ensemble, jazz music events, master classes, performances of silent films with organ accompaniment and a series of lectures and demonstrations on a wide variety of subjects including music and health. Even if you don't want to come to Calgary (and there was snow in the outlying districts a few days ago) please visit the web site.

The range of activities is beyond belief. This may convince you to drop by Calgary when the event is held next ...

Copyright © 13 August 2002 Gordon Rumson, born in Montreal



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