• First Congregational Church of Los Angeles Presents
    Christoph Bull’s
    A FREE Interdisciplinary Organ Concert
    On the World’s Largest Church Pipe Organ
    Sunday, May 31, 2015
    In Los Angeles

    Featuring Live Painting by Norton Wisdom Performed to
    Selections by Bull, Philip Glass, Johann Sebastian Bach,
    Olivier Messiaen, Louis-Claude Daquin, and Maurice Ravel

    LOS, ANGELES, CA – May 21, 2015 – First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is proud to present Christoph Bull’s organica, a FREE pipe organ concert on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 3:00pm. organica is an eclectic, colorful, and collaborative way to present the pipe organ to new audiences. A performer, scholar, and UCLA faculty member, Bull has been dubbed “the Tiger Woods of the organ.” He will perform his innovative interpretations of pieces by Philip Glass, Johann Sebastian Bach, Olivier Messiaen, Louis-Claude Daquin, and Maurice Ravel, as well as his own work, on the church’s famous pipe organ, the largest in the world located in a church. Live painter Norton Wisdom will add a visual element to the performance. The event is part of First Church’s Organ Concert Series. First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is located at 540 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (213-385-1341). To learn more about the concert, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/596138490516553.

    Christoph Bull (left) performs with Norton Wisdom (right) in organica at UCLA's Royce Hall. (photo credit: Nigel Skeet)

    Christoph Bull (left) performs with Norton Wisdom (right) in organica at UCLA’s Royce Hall. (photo credit: Nigel Skeet)

    German-born Bull is well-known in the Los Angeles area for mixing it up – blending traditional and modern elements into his interdisciplinary performances, presenting classical and contemporary works with enthusiasm, experimentation, and improvised visuals. Wisdom, who has long collaborated with Bull in concert, will spontaneously create art inspired by the music during a number of selections at the event. Working on an illuminated fiberglass canvas, his imagery will emerge, evolve, and dissolve to Bull’s performance. This is the first year that Bull’s organica concert will be held at First Church. The annual organica series started in 1999 at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood. Previous concerts have also been presented at UCLA’s Royce Hall and Christuskirche in Glendale.

    The event features a combination of world-class performers – bringing together a massive and beautiful world-renowned instrument in Los Angeles’ oldest Protestant Church with a fascinating outside-of-the-box multimedia and interdisciplinary program. The repertoire for the May 31st event showcases the organ in varied ways. This installment of organica juxtaposes Philip Glass with Johann Sebastian Bach; highlighting the different ways they use arpeggios in their compositions (Glass’ “Dance No. 4” and Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in A Minor.”) Bull will also contrast Olivier Messiaen with Louis-Claude Daquin, exploring their methods of incorporating bird song in compositions (Messiaen’s “Chants D’Oiseaux” and Daquin’s “Le Coucou.”) Original music by Bull and an organ transcription of Ravel’s famed “Bolero” will round out the event. Bull will also interview UCLA Ornithology Professor Charles Taylor about the bird songs that inspired Messiaen’s “Chants D’Oiseaux.”

    organica 5/31/15 Concert Sneak Peek Video to view video, click on image above or https://www.facebook.com/1stchurchla/videos/893330647398156

    organica 5/31/15 Concert
    Sneak Peek Video
    to view video, click on image above or

    Christoph Bull
    CHRISBULLBorn in Mannheim, Germany, Christoph Bull has performed and recorded around the world, including France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Russia, India, Taiwan, and El Salvador, at national and regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, and at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center in New York City, Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, the Cathedrals of Moscow, Saint-Denis and Salzburg, as well as rock clubs like The Viper Room, The Roxy, and The Whisky in Los Angeles. He has collaborated with leading orchestras, conductors, choirs, and ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale, James Conlon, Carl St.Clair, Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony, and the Grammy-winning Southwest Chamber Music.

    Bull is the creator of the genre-crossing, collaborative multimedia series organica, combining traditional and contemporary music. His collaborators include DJs, video artists, a live painter, instrumentalists, and singers. Bull has also contributed to projects by Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams, Harry Connick Jr., George Clinton and Bootsy Collins (Parliament Funkadelic), Cindy Lauper, Lili Haydn, and Nishat Khan. He opened the organ series at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa and Villa Aurora in the Pacific Palisades.

    Bull has received several awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for creative and innovative concert programs and has released a number of CDs, including License To Chill, Old School, organica 2001, organica 2, and organica 3. His musical Treasure Island, a collaboration with lyricist Tim Mathews, was premiered in both the United States and Germany. His solo album First & Grand, the world premiere recording of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ, was celebrated by the international trade press and showcases the stylistic versatility and expressiveness of his playing. His original song “Peace” was featured on the benefit album 2 Unite All together with songs by Peter Gabriel, Stewart Copeland, and others.

    Bull’s music has been broadcast on TV and radio, including on NPR’s flagship station in Southern California, KCRW, on Classical KUSC, and the Minnesota Public Radio program Pipedreams. He has earned degrees from Berklee College of Music, University of Southern California, and American Conservatory of Music. In addition to his activities as a concert organist, composer, singer-songwriter, speaker, university organist, and organ professor at University of California, Los Angeles, he is also the Organist in Residence at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. He is based in Los Angeles. (Christoph Bull portrait – above left; photo credit: Siya Kharkar)

    Norton Wisdom
    Performance painter Norton Wisdom works with musical ensembles and spontaneously paints images that capture the essence of the moment. He has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival (2005), the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (2002), the premieres of the Cirque Du Soleil shows O and Alegria in Las Vegas, organica at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, the Coachella Festival, the inauguration of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, and the Womad World Music and Dance Festival in Seattle. He has collaborated with The Doors, National Bamboo Orchestra of Bali, Daniel Lanois, Stephen Perkins and David Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Lili Haydn, Christoph Bull, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones), George Clinton (P-Funk), Beck, Grateful Dead, Styx, John Waite, members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Zam Johnson (Berlin).

    First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
    First Congregational Church of Los Angeles was founded in 1867 and is the oldest Protestant church in continuous service in Los Angeles. The present cathedral style building is the church’s fifth home and was completed in 1932. Designed by Los Angeles architects James E. and David C. Allison in the Gothic Revival style, it is reminiscent of the tower of Oxford University’s Magdalen College. Music has been an integral part of the rich history of the church going back to its very beginnings. First Church houses the Great Organs of First Church, which comprise what is considered to be the largest church pipe organ in the world. With approximately 346 ranks, 265 stops, 233 voices, 18 divisions, and more than 20,000 pipes, the Great Organs speak down the nave and chancel and from the south and north transept galleries. In addition to First Church’s Organ Concert Series, now in its 46th season, each week the Organist in Residence (Bull) presents half-hour preludes on Sundays at 10:30am.

    • Facebook Event Page – https://www.facebook.com/events/596138490516553
    • Christoph Bull – http://www.christophbull.com
    • Norton Wisdom – http://www.nortonwisdom.com
    • First Congregational Church of LA – http://fccla.org
    • Concert Sneak Peek Video – https://www.facebook.com/1stchurchla/videos/893330647398156

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    For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201, lynn@greengalactic.com.

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    ~ QUOTES ~

    “Giving the organ some… cool, Christoph Bull crosses genres and has fun in organica.”

    – Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times

    “The rock star of the organ world.”

    – John Rabe, Southern California Public Radio, National Public Radio

    “Since arriving in Los Angeles, Christoph Bull has made his presence felt as a charismatic musician well-versed in jazz, film, pop, and classical styles.”

    – Laurence Vittes, Gramophone Magazine

    “Bull brings a fresh, unconventional approach to the organ both as interpreter and as improviser/composer.”

    The American Organist

    “He plays like an angel.”

    – Marie-Claire Alain


    Posted on May 29th, 2015 lynn-hasty No comments

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