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Oct. 6, 2006

Lipa festival features contemporary organist

by Dave Gieseke, LAS Public Relations

Internationally renowned organist Gary Verkade will be the featured artist for the 2006 Lipa Festival of Contemporary Music's "Organ Electronika," sponsored by the music department.

Verkade will give a lecture at 5:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, followed by a concert at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and will be held in the newly remodeled Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall in the Music Hall. Among the renovations at the recital hall this summer was an upgrade for eight-channel surround sound.

The concert continues the Lipa Festival's recent emphasis on performing arts technologies.

An influential and sought-after interpreter of contemporary music for the organ, Verkade is the co-founder of SYNTHESE, an improvisation ensemble based in Germany, with which he performs on synthesizers and computer, often in an interdisciplinary context. Verkade lived in Germany for 17 years.

He was born in Chicago and received master's and doctoral degrees in music (organ performance) from the University of Iowa.

Verkade has recorded with the Innova label and toured throughout Europe and North America. Since 2000, he has been on the music faculty at the University of Luleå, Sweden.


A concert by organist Gary Verkade begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Martha-Ellen Type Recital Hall. Verkade wil give a public lecture at 5:15 that day.