Thomas Wikman


Michigan festival brings Wikman back to hometown


July 23, 2014 -- Thanks to an invitation from the Arts Council of White Lake to take part in their summer chamber music festival, renowned conductor and concert organist Thomas Wikman will soon be revisiting a favorite venue from his childhood and adolescence.

His organ recital at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Muskegon, Michigan will begin at 7:30 pm. on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The address is 1006 Third St. -- the very location where Wikman used to take organ lessons with Arnold Bourziel, who was organist/choirmaster there.

"It will be an old familiar feeling to play at St. Paul's," said Wikman, who founded the prestigious Chicago ensemble known as Music of the Baroque and led it from 1971 to 2001.

He added that the church, which recently underwent an impressive restoration, "looks far more splendid now than it did when I was young!"

A magnificent Gothic-style building from 1893, St. Paul's displays a "breathtaking" abundance of stained glass, Wikman said. Every window contains representational glass, including the clerestory, baptistry, cloakroom, narthex and external porch.

The organ is a four-manual Austin from 1928. "It's a very substantial instrument that has been painstakingly refurbished," he said.

This will be the first time organ music has been featured at the White Lake festival, which is now in its 5th year. The program will contain works of Bach, Franck, Pergolesi and others.

Tickets are only $15 and are available at Eventbrite.com. The admission charge will help to ensure the future of the White Lake festival. For further information on the concert, call 231/ 329-3056.

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Thomas Wikman and Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen Sven-Ingvart Mikkelsen at LSTC