Variations of Concern: A Pandemic Passacaglia
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Second only to Bach’s most popular Toccata and Fugue in d minor, his Passacaglia and Fugue parallels many aspects of this past year as Michael will explain in his opening remarks. The 21 variations showcase the many colours of St John’s Shaughnessy’s magnum Hallman organ’s 3800 pipes! Pulling out all the stops, the program concludes with ‘Widor’s Toccata’, which clips along around 1000 notes/minute. Composite videography is enhanced with ‘pedal cam’ and pics about the church and organ chambers.
Michael Dirk, organ
JS Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor BWV582
CM Widor: Andante and Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5 in f minor
One of Vancouver’s more versatile and exciting organists, Michael Dirk is at home performing solo concerts, accompanying silent movies, playing for church, or motivating the fans at hockey and baseball games. As child/youth, Michael studied piano at the Langley Community Music School and organ at Carillon Music. Undergraduate studies continued with Ed Norman and Denis Bédard at UBC (2004), and finally a Masters from Rice University Texas (2009) where he served as graduate assistant to Dr. Clyde Holloway. Michael has been Music Director to St John’s Shaughnessy sjs.net since 2012, while building a comprehensive K-7 recorder-ukulele-band program for all his 400+ students at Shaughnessy Elementary. As Vice President and Education officer to the Vancouver Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, he would encourage you to become RCCO community members and discover all the local organ happenings rcco.bc.ca. While away from the organ bench, Michael can be found ballroom dancing with his wife, percussionist Annabelle Ip, and teaching their daughter Julia how to sail about English Bay.
The magnum Hallman organ of St John’s Shaughnessy was Vancouver’s largest pipe organ when it was installed in 1968. It remains one of the most exciting local instruments with Canada’s first dual consoles, nearing 3100 pipes in the main chamber standing as tall as 20 feet and sounding lower than audible at 16Hz, and 700 pipes in the back gallery which includes Vancouver’s only horizontal copper state trumpet. https://pipeorgandatabase.org/organ/63877