Today I watched a YouTube video shared by Manuel Rosales, the builder of the magnificent Trinity Cathedral organ in Portland, OR where John Strege was formerly the organist/choirmaster and Michael Kleinschmidt is there now. Someone had commented on Manuel’s FaceBook page that this is where the world-class Catharine Crozier had played — except that he had spelled the name as Catherine Crozier. I immediately commented with the correct spelling of her name, and provided a link to my blog post, “Famous organists visit LCH” which showed a picture of the two of us. (Psst! Want to know something? Manuel Rosales was the one who took this picture!)
The radio program, Pipedreams, put together a memorial tribute to Catharine Crozier, which you can view by clicking here. There are links to radio shows where you can hear her play. She was a student of Harold Gleason at Eastman School of Music, whom she later married. She became chair of the organ department and held the position from 1953 through 1969. She had an illustrious performing career, concertized extensively in the United States and Europe, and made many recordings. She edited her husband Harold Gleason’s book, Method of Organ Playing, which I use in my teaching and which she called “the essential tool” for organ students.
We heard her play only once — at a memorized recital in San Diego at an AGO convention. I remember saying to Carl at the time, “Wow! that is a world-class organist — absolutely the best in the world.”
She moved to Portland, OR in 1993 where she became Artist-in-Residence at Trinity Cathedral until 2003, and where the following video was filmed. She died on September 19, 2003 at the age of 89. You can read her obituary in the New York Times by clicking here. Her musical scores are housed in the Organ Library of the Boston AGO Chapter, located on the campus of Boston University.