West Vancouver United Church
Alexander Weimann, organ
Improvisation no longer plays a big role in the classical music world, although it’s still a central part of the education, idiom and professional practice for church organists. It’s an important factor in ‘early music’ and the art of improvisation is of the essence in making music in the world of jazz. The improvised concert re-imagines the so-called Organ Mass, a tradition of religious music ever since organs were first introduced into the Church. This practice flowered during the French Baroque and which lives on in France to this day.
“Improvising is one of my strongest musical passions. As a child practicing the piano, I had a hard time focusing on sheet music. I’d start off with good intentions, but after a few bars I’d often veer off the scripted path and wander into an unplanned period of oblivious improvising. Since then, I’ve studied church music and organ, also jazz piano, and after decades of making music of all kinds my fascination for improvisation has only grown. It’s a pleasure to perform this programme on the wonderful organ at West Vancouver United Church where I performed a Bach concert (The Well-Tempered Organ) this past July for EMV. I look forward to exploring more of its multiple possibilities for registration and sound.” – Alexander Weimann
This concert is generously sponsored by The RPC Family Foundation
Alexander Weimann, organ
Alexander Weimann is one of the most sought-after ensemble directors, soloists, and chamber music partners of his generation. After travelling the world with ensembles such as Tragicomedia, Cantus Cölln, the Freiburger Barockorchester, Gesualdo Consort and Tafelmusik, he now focuses on his activities as Music Director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra in Vancouver, Music Director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and regular guest conductor of ensembles including the Victoria Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal and the Portland Baroque Orchestra.
Alex was born in Munich, where he studied the organ, church music, musicology (with a summa con laude thesis on Bach’s secco recitatives), theatre, mediæval Latin, and jazz piano, supported by a variety of federal scholarships. From 1990 to 1995, he taught music theory, improvisation, and Jazz at the Munich Musikhochschule. Since 1998, he has been giving master classes in harpsichord and historical performance practice at institutions such as Lunds University in Malmö, the Bremen Musikhochschule, the University of California (Berkeley), Dartmouth College (New Hampshire), McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Mount Allison (New Brunswick). He now teaches at the University of British Columbia and directs the Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme there. He has received several JUNO and GRAMMY Award nominations – most recently, for the album Nuit Blanches with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and Karina Gauvin.