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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

The Connecting Chords Music Festival presents English organist David Briggs' recital and improvised film score performances this week

David Briggs at the organ
courtesy photo
David Briggs at the organ

The Connecting Chords Music Festival's relationship with renowned English organist David Briggs goes back to 2009, when he concertized in Kalamazoo and performed an improvised score to the 1925 silent film Ben-Hur. At 7 pm on Monday, Oct 2, he returns with an organ recital packed with spectacular orchestral transcriptions, including Saint-Saens' finale to the Symphony No. 3 "Organ" and Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as well as the first North American performance of his 2006 Sonata for cello and organ, which features cellist Elizabeth Start. He'll end the concert with the Prelude & Fugue in E-flat, "St. Anne," by J.S. Bach.

Briggs talks to Cara Lieurance about his fond memories of visiting Kalamazoo 14 years ago, and about his love for arranging orchestral music for his instrument. Another love is performing live, improvised soundtracks to silent films. At 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Oct 4, Briggs will accompany a screening of the 1920 film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring John Barrymore. He says he's performed it over 50 times, and always in a different way with new themes. The screening will take place at First United Methodist Church. It is preceded by a 1910 short of Frankenstein, with live accompaniment by the group Silent But Deadly.

Tickets and more information are at the Connecting Chords Music Festival website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.