French concert organist Michel Bouvard will perform a solo recital on the Gabriel Kney pipe organ at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, located on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

The program, free and open to the public, is the fourth in a series of five recitals and concerts marking the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Kney organ. The Sunday afternoon recitals are co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ Music Department and Campus Ministry. A reception will follow.

Michel Bouvard

Michel Bouvard

One of today’s leading French concert organists, Bouvard will perform works by Johan Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Alexandre Pierre Francois Boely, Louis Vierne and Michel Bouvard’s grandfather, composer and organist Jean Bouvard.

Bouvard serves as professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory and as organist titulaire of the historic Cavaillé-Coll organ at the Basilique Saint-Sernin, in the city of Toulouse where he lives and teaches.  He also has served as one of four organists of the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles since 2010.  This spring he is visiting professor of organ at the Eastman School of Music.

St. Thomas’ chapel organ was installed in 1987 thanks to a donation from alumnus Robert Asmuth. Built by Gabriel Kney of London, Ontario, the organ is a three-manual instrument with 41 stops of 56 ranks, with a total of 2,787 pipes. It is used for worship, teaching and concerts. Its dedicatory recital was played by Swedish organist Hans Fagius on Sept. 20, 1987.

Since then, the university’s Organ Artist Recital Series has become one of the premier pipe-organ concert series in the Twin Cities.

The list of recitalists includes international artists Ulrich Böhme, Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet, László Fassang, Jean Gillou, Martin Haselböck, Nicholas Kynaston, Olivier Latry, Peter Planyovsky and Dong-il Shin. American artists in the series have included Diane Bish, James David Christie, Robert Glasgow, Gerre Hancock, David Hurd and Joan Lippincott.

These concert performances have been featured on the “Pipedreams” radio program from American Public Media, and the instrument has been showcased at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.

The final program in the 25th anniversary series will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28. That program, which is also part of the university’s Sacred Arts Festival, will feature the university’s Liturgical Choir directed by Aaron Brown, Orchestra directed by Matthew George, and organists James Callahan, David Jenkins, Kevin Seal and Robert Vickery.

Music that day will include the Schubert Mass in G, the Concerto for strings and orchestra by Francis Poulenc, and a new concerto for organ, strings and percussion by Callahan.

The Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas is located on the eastern side of the university’s campus, near the intersection of Cleveland and Laurel avenues.

For more information about the Gabriel Kney instrument, visit this Music Department website. For more information about the series call (651) 962-5050.

The Gabriel Kney pipe organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Gabriel Kney pipe organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.