Spreckels Organ Society Announces Women in Music Festival Lineup

Spreckels Organ Society, a non-profit organization curating concerts and performances in the heart of Balboa Park, announces its 2022 San Diego International Summer Organ Festival (SDISOF) with an exciting line-up, celebrating women in music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the largest open air musical instrument in the world!

What “Women in Music Festival” is all about

This season’s “Women in Music Festival” focuses on the role women have had on both music composition and performance in our history. The Spreckels Organ Society brings these special concerts to the Pavilion for free on Monday evenings at 7:30PM, starting June 27 and July 4 with two pre-season concerts, and continuing July 11 through Sept. 5.

“The Spreckels Organ Pavilion provides a window and a mirror for our future generations,” said Raúl Prieto Ramirez, San Diego Civic Organist and Artistic Director for the Spreckels Organ Society. “A window into a culture missing from the mainstream and a mirror for kids to imagine themselves one day as great musicians, sharing their voices with audiences.

“Setting the focus on ‘Women in Music’ this 2022 is an opportunity to highlight women’s contributions to music in the past, an opportunity to enjoy the talent and virtuosity of current female artists, and an opportunity to offer a mirror for young girls to portray themselves on our stage as the concert artists and music composers of the future,” adds Ramirez.

The “Women in Music Festival” has been a long time in the making, and a few years overdue. The year 2020 marked the centennial of the passage of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment, legislation granting women the right to vote.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spreckels Organ Society was unable to present the SDISOF in 2020, and the artists who were scheduled for 2020 were featured in the 2021 festival.

In honor of the Women’s Suffrage Amendment centennial, the 2022 SDISOF concerts will be performed almost entirely by female organists.

The Summer Festival will be preceded by two standout pre-show performances. The first on Monday, June 27 at 7:30PM featuring San Diego Civic Organist, Ramirez, joined by violinist, Hanah Stuart, and cellist, Jian Wang; together, they will perform works by female composers, plus great organ favorites.

On Monday, July 4, also at 7:30PM, the Spreckels Organ Society will host a 4th of July Extravaganza with organist, Jelani Eddington, performed as part of the American Theatre Organ Society’s National Convention in San Diego.

2022 San Diego International Summer Organ Festival Schedule includes:

Monday, July 11 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Nicole Keller: The Chicago Crusader calls Keller “…an aggressive player with outstanding technique and fine musical sensibilities…” Keller brings a breadth of musical experience as a concert artist. After her successful performance at the National Festival of the American Guild of Organists in 2021, she will now offer her first concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.

Monday, July 18 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Cherry Rhodes: An organ professor at UCLA, Rhodes will perform a concert ranging from J. S. Bach to an original world premiere. During her brilliant career, she has toured extensively throughout the major music capitals of North America, Europe and Asia with recital and festival appearances in concert halls and cathedrals including Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), Lincoln Center (New York City), Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Royal Festival Hall (London) and Notre Dame (Paris).

Monday, July 25 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Isabelle Demers: Known as the ‘diminutive dynamo,’ dazzling Canadian Organist Demers returns to the Spreckels Organ to showcase her incredible virtuosity and varied interpretations at this can’t miss event!  The leading organist of Canada, with an international reputation, Demers holds the Joyce Bowden Chair in Organ at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal.

Monday, Aug. 1 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Chelsea Chen, an internationally renowned young American organist and composer, returns to her hometown Spreckels Organ for what might just be a night of “rare musicality” and “lovely lyrical grandeur” (LA Times).  Expect a unique mix of traditional organ repertoire along with piano/orchestral transcriptions and contemporary music.

Monday, Aug. 8 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Caroline Robinson: Hailing from St. Philip in Atlanta, Robinson has been featured as a solo recitalist in many venues across the United States. Her playing has been broadcast on American Public Media’s “Pipedreams LIVE,” and Philadelphia-based public radio station 90.1 WRTI’s Wanamaker Organ Hour. She is a prize winner at several distinguished organ competitions like Dublin International (2014) and the Albert Schweitzer (2010).

Monday, Aug. 15 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Amanda Mole: Credited as a rising star, Mole is quickly earning a reputation as one of the leading concert organists of her generation. Her performances have been described as “elegant, lucid” (The American Organist), and “having an excellent balance of technical accuracy, rhythm, and structure” (The Diapason).

Monday, Aug. 22 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Piano & Organ Duo Mus-Art: Spanish piano virtuoso from Barcelona with several competition prizes, pianist Maria Teresa Sierra will join San Diego Civic Organist, Raúl Prieto Ramirez, for a concert widely demanded.  The piano and organ duo will join forces presenting widely popular pieces like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Beethoven’s piano Concerto No.5 “The Emperor”. The concert features a display of virtuosity combining the power of the Spreckels Organ and the delicacy of a concert piano, provided by Steinway Piano Gallery of San Diego.

Monday, Aug. 29 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

Silent Movie Night: Clara Gerdes is quickly building an impressive career as a concert organist in the U.S. with widely successful concerts and energetic personality. This will be Gerdes’s debut concert at the Pavilion in Balboa Park. The program will include several short to mid-length fun movies and some of her virtuoso solo pieces.

Monday, Sept. 5 at 7:30PM at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion
Free admission; open to the public

The Organ Pavilion Rock Band: Featuring some of the best Rock musicians in San Diego, the Organ Pavilion Rock Band has set itself apart by delivering powerful performances of Rock classics with the unique sound provided by the Spreckels Organ. A mix of Rock and Classically-trained artists bring the Rock Classics to a new level. The concert will feature both awarded local lead singers Chloe Lou and Lauren Leigh-Martin with music by the most famous Classic Soul and Rock female singers/bands.

The Annual Beer and Wine Festival

Prior to the August 29 Silent Movie Night Concert, the Spreckels Organ Society will host their annual Beer and Wine Festival at 5:30PM. This ever-popular event features tastings of popular wines and beers, paired with delectable tapas and finger foods. In addition, your admission price guarantees you preferred seating for the concert and movie. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased in advance through the website.

Free concerts weekly

In addition to the special summer performances, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion also hosts weekly concerts each Sunday at 2PM.

Through the generosity of the City of San Diego, the weekly Spreckels Organ Society concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion are presented at no charge in accordance with the 1915 Deed of Gift whereby the brothers John and Adolph Spreckels gave the organ and pavilion to the City of San Diego. Donations are always accepted.

For more information, visit here.

See you there

Set in the beautiful backdrop of Balboa Park’s open-air venue at 2125 Pan American Road, performances bring a one-of-a-kind experience for guests. The elevated music venue brings world-class musical artists for San Diegans and visitors to enjoy, for free.

For more information about the Spreckels Organ Society, visit here.

See you there, San Diego!

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