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Peter Sykes plays the Roosevelt Organ In Great Barrington
04:07PM / Tuesday, April 19, 2022
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Berkshire Bach Society continues its season on April 23, 2022 at 4 p.m. with organist Peter Sykes playing the great Roosevelt Organ at the First Congregational Church. 
 
This is the second of two organ recitals presented by Berkshire Bach this season that provide an opportunity to explore the capabilities of two historic Berkshires instruments: Johnson & Son organ from 1893 and the Roosevelt organ from 1883.
 
Peter Sykes presents compositions by Bach and his followers—Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Reger—that showcase the organ that at its installation was considered "the finest in America."   
 
"We are pleased to bring back long-time Berkshire Bach performer Peter Sykes after a three-year absence," said Terrill McDade, Interim Executive Director of The Berkshire Bach Society.  "He gives us an opportunity to hear the voice and true versatility of this remarkable organ in repertoire clearly inspired by Bach’s music.  A real musical treat."  
 
Sykes serves as Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Historical Performance Department at Boston University and, since 2014, on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York City as its principal instructor of harpsichord. 
 
The Roosevelt organ at the First Congregational Church is named for its builder, prominent 19th-century American organ maker Hilborne L. Roosevelt (1849-1886), innovator and cousin to U.S. presidents Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was commissioned after a fire in 1882 destroyed the church, and is the largest of Roosevelt’s surviving instruments.
 
Notably, the organ was one of the first in the U.S. to use an electric-powered hydraulic motor to supply air to the pipes and includes various other technical innovations that create and control the power of its voice.  
 
Sykes has chosen a program that takes advantage of the full range of stops and effects.
 
Tickets on sale now at www.berkshirebach.org/Events.  All seats $35, Berkshire Bach member discounts apply, and as always, children and students (with valid ID) are admitted free.
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