“Kathy! What are you doing here?!”
Those were the first words from organist Jonathan Dimmock, whose recital I attended this afternoon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles.
Before going on this trip, I checked the internet to see if there were any good concerts to attend, and was absolutely delighted to see that Jonathan was scheduled to play Bach’s Canonic Variations on Vom Himmel hoch as well as the complete La Nativité du Seigneur of Olivier Messiaen. I didn’t tell Jonathan ahead of time that I would be coming, and wanted to surprise him. Indeed, he was very, very surprised! You may remember that Jonathan came to Hawaii last November to play the Duruflé Requiem in memory of Carl Crosier. We both did not know we’d see each other so soon!
And guess who else I saw at the concert — Hyunju Hwang, who along with Tsugumi Shikano gave an organ and percussion concert in Hawaii last March. Hyunju sat with me at the concert and we got caught up with each other’s news—my broken wrist and still black eye, and her new church position at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Palos Verdes Estates.
And I saw even more people I recognized — guess who else was in town for the holidays and visiting relatives — Dana Marsh was also at the concert. His parents, sister and niece live in the Southern California area. Dana was in Hawaii last September to direct the Early Music Hawaii concert.
Let me just say that it was a fabulous concert on the Dobson organ. I loved Jonathan’s performance of the Canonic Variations which I played on a number of Christmas Eve services. I can’t ever hear the piece without thinking of my good friend from graduate school, Linda Allerton Freedman, who played it on her graduate recital. Jonathan brought out a myriad of colors on the instrument, and furnished descriptive program notes besides. In fact, I have played those pieces for years, and never thought about what I was playing in the same way as Jonathan described. You may be sure that I’ll be keeping the recital program.
I was very interested in Jonathan’s use of the iPad on the music rack and took pictures after the concert.
I was also happy to see organists Cherry Rhodes and Ladd Thomas, whom I told that Jonathan Dimmock was recently in Hawaii for Carl’s memorial concert. They are the organ department at the University of Southern California (USC) — my alma mater — and didn’t know that Carl had died. We had seen them not only in Hawaii, but at many AGO conventions, most recently at the Boston AGO in June 2014.
About a week ago, I got an unexpected email from George Emblom, Jonathan’s partner, asking me to play a recital at his church, St. Mark’s Episcopal in Berkeley, CA in November 2016! So George was also very surprised to see me at today’s concert.