An unusual tour of organists takes place August 18-23, when eight young Japanese women, “The Yokohama Lucys”, bring their talents to bear on four notable organs in the area. During their internships at the Minato Mirai Concert Hall in Yokohama, these women have trained with resident organist, Hatsumi Miura, on a pipe organ affectionately nicknamed “Lucy.” “Lucy” is the three-manual, 64-stop instrument built in 1998 (Opus 110) by C. B. Fisk, Inc., the renowned organbuilding firm in Gloucester. Miura, who organized the tour for her interns, concertizes in Europe and America as well, and is a professor of organ at Ferris University in Yokohama. She was recently celebrated for her significant cultural contributions to the city of Yokohama.
On Tuesday, August 18, at 8:00 PM, all eight of these distinguished performers will take a turn on the organ bench at the historic Old West United Methodist Church, 131 Cambridge Street in Boston. The concert features repertoire from many eras, including new works from Japanese composers. Old West’s organ, Opus 55 of the Fisk firm, was built in 1970 and is one of the premiere pipe organs in the country. It has served for many years as the concert organ for the New England Conservatory. Miura, who was educated at NEC, played Opus 55 at the recent “Landmarks” regional convention of the American Guild of Organists.
The tour continues on Friday, August 21, at 8:00 PM when Mineko Kojima and Mina Iizuka play the Jeremy Adams Organ at the Annisquam Village Church, 820 Washington Street, in Gloucester. The Adams two-manual, 13-stop instrument was built in Danvers in 1986 and possesses a strong battery of reeds which will be featured in repertoire from the Italian renaissance and French classical periods. Kathleen Adams, Music Director, at the AVC, notes that Miura played one of her graduate recitals on the Annisquam organ when she was studying under the legendary Yuko Hayashi at the New England Conservatory. Hayashi, now retired from NEC, will attend these concerts, underscoring the lineage which has ensued from her pedagogy.
On Saturday, August 22, at 7:30 PM, another duo of “Lucys”, Naoko Asao and Aya Iiuma, will play romantic and impressionistic pieces on C.B. Fisk’s Opus 97 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 48 Middle Street, in Gloucester. The two-manual, 18-stop organ at St. John’s was installed in 1988 and Miura will perform there on November 1 as part of the Concert Series marking the 20th year since the organ’s installation. Mark Nelson, Music Director, has been an organbuilder with the Fisk firm since 1978.
Another Fisk instrument, Opus 62 at Ascension Memorial Episcopal Church, 31 County Street in Ipswich, will feature “Lucys” Mika Noda and Ayako Yanagisawa in the final concert of the tour on Sunday, August 23 at 4:00 PM. The 23-stop, two-manual organ at Ascension was installed in 1973 and the program will feature transcriptions from opera and symphonic works. David Kazimir is Music Director at Ascension and also builds organs with the Fisk firm.
All the concerts are free (with free-will donations) and open to the public. For information call 978.283.1909.