American Guild of Organists
Milwaukee Chapter
 

Paul Preito Ramirez Organ Recital

  • 12 Oct 2018
  • 7:30 PM
  • Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay
Paul Preito Ramirez
Organ Recital
The pairing of one of the world’s most dynamic concert organists 
and the magnificent, 3,702-pipe Wood Family Organ promises a memorable evening 
of music at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the Weidner Center for the Performing 
Arts, 2420 Nicolet Drive. 

The concert featuring Spanish-born Raúl Prieto Ramírez is presented by the Brown 
County Civic Music Association as the season opener of its five-concert 
classical subscription series for 2018-19. 

General admission tickets, available at the door, are $25 for adults, $10 for 
students 18 and under, and $15 for members of the American Guild of Organists. 

Formerly of Barcelona, Ramirez has been based since January in San Diego, 
Calif., where he is organist in residence for Balboa Park’s renowned Spreckels 
Organ, the largest outdoor musical instrument in the Western Hemisphere. Hired 
after an international search that included audition concerts by the finalists, 
Ramirez was lauded for his technical excellence, expressive musicality, and 
charismatic performance skills. He is known for being one of the few top-tier 
concert organists who perform from memory. 

The program for his Green Bay concert will open with the intense and richly 
layered "Prelude and Fugue in G major" (BWV 541), by Johann Sebastian Bach.  He 
will follow with the Allegro movement from Charles-Marie Widor’s "Symphony VI in 
g minor Op. 42 No. 2", which premiered in 1879 at the Paris World Exhibition. 
The third selection, "Rhapsodie Op. 7 No. 1" by Camille Saint-Saëns, was 
inspired by the composer’s deep affection for French culture and folk music.  
The final piece before intermission will be a Franz Liszt orchestral work 
transcribed by Ramirez and conveying passion, sensuality and dramatics:  
"Mephisto Waltz No. 1 ‘Der Tanz in der Dorfschenke’ (The Dance in the Village 
Inn)." 

The second half of the program will be devoted to the Liszt masterpiece,  
"Fantasia and Fugue on the chorale 'Ad nos, ad salutarem undam'". The work 
begins with dark drama, shifts to quiet contemplation and energetic lyricism, 
and concludes with a triumphant coda. 

Prominent among many career milestones for Ramirez was appointment in 2006, at 
the young age of 27, as the first organist in residence for the Auditorio 
Nacional de Música (the national concert hall) in Madrid. He went on to found 
Spain’s most successful organ festival, the International Organ Festival of 
Barcelona, where he continues as artistic director. His global schedule 
regularly takes him to major festivals and concert halls throughout Europe and 
North America, and he wins critical praise for performances described as 
“awe-inspiring” and “electrifying.” His first two compact discs, on the 
Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the 
Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. 

Organist Jeff Verkuilen, a Green Bay business person and Civic Music board 
member who helped arrange the visit of Ramirez to Wisconsin, says the concert 
will be a celebration not only of the artist’s singular talent but of the 
quality of the Weidner Center and its Casavant organ.  “It’s a phenomenal 
instrument,” Verkuilen says. “It’s a rarity – a blessing – to have a pipe organ 
of that magnitude and quality in a community the size of Green Bay. We’re proud 
to give people a chance to hear it played, and to hear it played by such a 
talented performer.” 

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