The St. Matthew Lutheran Church Concert Series will present organist, Richard Elliott, the Organist at the Mormon Tabernacle, in concert when the church rededicates their world renowned instrument on Sunday, October 23 at 3:00 PM. The church is located at 30 W. Chestnut Street, Hanover, PA. Free tickets are required for admission and can be ordered by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the attention of Scott Fredericks at the church. A free-will offering will be taken to assist with the concert series costs. Tickets may be ordered from September 10- October 10. Tickets will be mailed on October 12th. Please note the number of tickets desired. The doors open at 2:30 PM. A reception will follow the program. Photos of the renovation process will be on display. The next concert in the Series will feature Peter Richard Conte on Sunday, November 20 at 4:00 PM. Conte is the organist at Macy’s (originally Wanamaker’s) in Philadelphia which houses the largest working pipe organ in the world. Conte is also the organist at Longwood Gardens. Free tickets will be available for this concert in late October.
The St. Matthew Austin pipe organ is one of the ten largest pipe organs in the world. The instrument has recently undergone a major five year renovation which was paid for by gifts from church members, local organizations and foundations and interested music lovers. The original organ, designed by J. Herbert Springer, contained 5,000 pipes and was placed in the church in 1925. The instrument was enlarged several times under the leadership of Springer with funding coming from benefactor, Clara Glatfelter Moul. The new 2014 console operates over 230 stops and 14,000 pipes plus the new digital and MIDI stops and the Maas-Rowe 198-bell carillon is playable from the console. During the renovation all old wiring was replaced, thousands of pipes were cleaned and reconstructed and the organ was made solid state. The balcony (antiphonal) division of pipes was significantly enhanced with the addition of several ranks of new pipework, the revoicing of existing pipes and the addition of new digital voices. The organ has been played by many of the world’s finest organists and is notable in the history of organ building. Several recordings have been made on the organ and the instrument can be heard regularly in worship, as well as in concerts, tours for children, Christmas Concerts, bus tours and programs for retirement homes.
Richard Elliott is Principal Organist at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, where he participates in the daily recital series on the 206-rank Æolian-Skinner organ and accompanies the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on the choir’s weekly radio and TV broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word.” As accompanist for the Tabernacle Choir he has performed in many of the world’s great halls and appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including the NBC “Today Show,” the “CBS Morning Show,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” and “A Prairie Home Companion.”
Dr. Elliott appears on dozens of recordings and videos with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In his work with the choir he has collaborated with many guest artists including Andrea Bocelli, the Canadian Brass, Renée Fleming, Evelyn Glennie, the King’s Singers, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Charles Osgood, Robert Shaw, James Taylor, and Bryn Terfel.
In 1994 he recorded his first solo compact disc, titled “In the Shadows of the Everlasting Hills,” on the Pro Organo label. His second solo CD on the Mormon Tabernacle organ, “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” was released in the summer of 2009 on the Klavier label. He has also recorded three compact discs in collaboration with his colleagues on the Tabernacle organ staff. Dr. Elliott is a published composer and arranger of music for organ and for choir.
Prior to his appointment as a Tabernacle organist in 1991, Dr. Elliott was an assistant professor of organ at Brigham Young University. He has performed extensively as a recitalist in the United States and in Europe, and for several years was assistant organist at the John Wanamaker Department Store (now Macy’s) in Philadelphia, home to the world’s largest functioning pipe organ. A Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, Dr. Elliott has been a featured performer at national and regional conventions of the guild.
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Elliott received his early musical training at the Peabody Conservatory and the Catholic University of America. He was awarded a BMus degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and MM and DMA degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. His organ teachers have included David Craighead, Dale Krider, William Watkins, and John Weaver.
Dr. Elliott is married to a professional pianist, Elizabeth Cox Ballantyne, and they are the parents of two sons.