July 2–6, 2017
Presented by the
RCCO, & CIOC
Pre & post-festival activities July 1st and 7th
Past laureate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ (RCCO) National Organ Playing Competition, organist Sarah Svendsen is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music and specializes in the performance of Canadian organ works. Sarah made her American concert debut at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Concert Series on February 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a performance which composer and organist Jeff Donnelly called, “A recital... [which] can only be described as sublime.”
Sarah made her symphonic debut in the Fall of 2016 playing the Jongen organ concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. A video of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor, which Sarah recorded for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), can be found on the CBC’s YouTube channel. In June of 2015 Sarah was part of the Luminato Festival production and CBC Radio 2 broadcast of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis, playing the sole organ in an ensemble of over 1000 musicians under conductor David Fallis. Some of Sarah’s other engagements have included the St. Paul's Cathedral Sunday Organ Recital Series (U.K.), the Truro Cathedral Lunchtime Concert Series (U.K.), the Stratford Summer Music Festival, and the Copenhagen International Organ Festival.
Sarah serves on the RCCO National Strategic Planning Committee as well as the RCCO National Communications Committee. She is currently pursuing a DMA in Organ Performance at the University of Toronto under Patricia Wright. Sarah holds a Master’s degree in organ from the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Thomas Murray. This degree was in conjunction with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where she completed the Institute’s Church Music Diploma. For the 2013/14 Yale academic year, Sarah was the organist for Battell Chapel, Yale University Church. From 2009 until 2014, Sarah was the assistant organist at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church, known for housing the largest pipe organ in Canada. Sarah was born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, Canada. To learn more about Sarah, please visit www.sarahsvendsen.com.