A top-notch classical organist can be like a top-notch classical violinist. Both musicians, if they have a sense of musical history, seem to covet the idea of playing on an instrument with a pedigree.
The big difference here is that sometimes the top-notch violinist can access the art of a legendary violin maker (Stradivari, Guarneri, etc.) by virtue of the instrument's portability. Organ virtuosos have to travel if they're going to touch the manuals and pedals of a celebrated "King of the Keyboards," one created by fabled artisans with names such as Silbermannand Cavaille-Coll.
The C.B. Fisk-built organ in the Lippes Concert Hall is a good and worthy example of an instrument built by one of the foremost American organ-building firms, and tonight it will be in the hands of one of America's most prominent organists, Todd Wilson.
Wilson, who did some of his post-graduate work at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, is a busy guy. The Cleveland-based organist is director of music for a church, the chairman of the Organ Department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and curator for the organ (one made by E.M. Skinner) in the Cleveland Orchestra's venue, Severance Hall. Wilson's concert tonight will showcase standards of the repertoire by Dupre, Durufle, Widor, Reubke and Bach/Vivaldi in addition to a newer score by American composer David Conte.
Organist Todd Wilson will perform in Lippes Concert Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus, Amherst, at 8 tonight. Tickets are $20 at the door, with discounts for students and seniors. Call 645-2921 for more information.
-- Garaud MacTaggart, Special to The News