Baylor Alum Returns To Campus To Open Organ Conference

Jan. 13, 2006

Organist Richard Benefield will present the opening recital at Baylor University's 12th annual Midwinter Organ Conference, which runs from Feb. 12-14. He will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, on the Carter Family Organ in George W. Truett Theological Seminary's Paul Powell Chapel.

Benefield earned his bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Baylor University in 1976 and 1980, respectively, while a student of Joyce Jones. In 1995 he earned the first doctor of musical arts degree ever awarded by the New England Conservatory of Music. He has taught on the music faculties of Baylor, Paris (Texas) Junior College, Boston University and Providence College.

His Baylor recital will feature several pieces by German baroque masters Buxtehude and Bach, including Dietrich Buxtehude's Passacaglia in D minor, a trio of Buxtehude's chorale preludes ("Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist," "Von Gott will ich nicht lassen," and "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott"), and Johann Sebastian Bach's Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart originally intended his Adagio and Allegro, K. 594, for mechanical organ (or clock organ). It dates from late in the great Austrian composer's life, during the final three months of 1790.

Benefield's program will conclude with a composition from 2005 by Daniel Pinkham, the southwest premiere of his The Garden of the Muses, a musical depiction of the nine muses of classical mythology. It was commissioned by the Harvard University Art Museums, of which Benefield serves as deputy director.

The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor School of Music at (254) 710-3991.

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