Dallas Symphony Association Appoints Bradley Hunter Welch Resident Organist, Lay Family Chair
"I am so very excited to begin this role with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. It is a distinct honor to follow previous DSO Resident Organists Paul Riedo and Mary Preston--musicians whom I have long admired and respected,” said Welch. “From the first time I was enthralled by the Lay Family Concert Organ 25 years ago, I have stood in awe of its sound and power as one of the greatest musical instruments in the world...made even better by its home in one of the greatest concert halls in the world! I look forward to working with the incredible Dallas Symphony Orchestra as Resident Organist. As Curator, I will ensure the organ remains in prime condition for the people of the City of Dallas and for all who play and experience its jaw-dropping brilliance for years to come."
“Bradley Hunter Welch has been a frequent and welcome guest of the DSO in recent seasons,” said Peter Czornyj, Vice President of Artistic Operations at the Dallas Symphony. “He is expertly adept at performing a wide range of organ repertoire, and his brilliant performance of Barber’s Toccata Festiva last season is fondly remembered.”
Hailed as “A world-class virtuoso” (The American Organist) and “an expert at defining darks, lights, shadows and colors,” (Birmingham News, Alabama), Bradley Hunter Welch is increasingly in demand as a recitalist, concerto soloist and collaborative artist. He was awarded the First Place Prize at the 2003 Dallas International Organ Competition and was also awarded the Audience Prize for the second time, having previously won it in 2000. He has appeared as soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Welch has taught at Southern Methodist University and Baylor University. He was Director of Music & Arts at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, from 2009-2014. Between concert and recording engagements, he serves as Artist-in-Residence at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas.
A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Welch holds Doctor of Musical Arts, Master of Musical Arts, and Master of Music degrees, as well as the coveted Artist Diploma from Yale University where he studied with Thomas Murray and Martin Jean. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Baylor University where he studied with Joyce Jones. Full biographical information is available here.
About the Lay Family Concert Organ – C.B. Fisk Opus 100
Rising the full height of the concert chamber behind the stage, the Herman W. and Amelia H. Lay Family Concert Organ serves as the focal point of the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Case design for Opus 100 evolved over a period of several months following consultations between architect I.M. Pei, acoustician Russell Johnson, and Fisk principals Virginia Fisk, Steven Dieck, Robert Cornell and visual designer Charles Nazarian. Jas. Gillanders, Ltd., of Toronto constructed the resulting massive cherry-veneered case and the organ’s burnished tin façade pipes, the largest of which is DD of the Prestant 32', were manufactured in Weikersheim, Germany by August Laukhuff, Gmbh. The organ case and façade pipes were installed in time for the hall’s gala opening ceremonies in September 1989. Wind systems, key actions, mechanical works and interior pipes, all constructed at the Fisk workshop in Gloucester, were installed during the summer of 1991 with finish voicing taking place over the ensuing twelve months.
The instrument’s 4,535 pipes are dispersed over six divisions, which are played from four manuals and pedals. The Great, Positive, and Swell divisions and certain stops of the Pedal division form the classical core of the organ. The Resonance, played on either manual or pedal keyboards, is a powerful division of French romantic influence. An English-inspired Tuba division, voiced on 20" wind pressure, is especially suited for climaxes in music for organ and orchestra. This instrument draws its tonal inspiration from many different styles and periods of organ building, enabling it to effectively showcase both organ solo and symphonic literature. Dr. Robert Anderson, former Professor of Organ at Southern Methodist University and consultant for this project, worked closely with the Fisk team to develop a specification that also referenced Calvin Hampton’s 1978 landmark article on the ideal symphonic organ.
Organist Michael Murray and the Dallas Symphony under Maestro Eduardo Mata inaugurated Opus 100 on September 2, 1992. www.cbfisk.com Courtesy of C.B. Fisk, Inc.
About The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO)
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world's premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 211,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900, and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Cultural Affairs, City of Dallas.