Kola Owolabi, professor of organ, University of Notre Dame

Kola Owolabi, who has presented organ recitals in the U.S. and Canada and abroad, will present a recital at 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne.

Kola Owolabi, a professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame, will present a recital at 3 p.m. Oct. 17 at Zion Lutheran Church, 2313 S. Hanna St., Fort Wayne.

The recital is free and open to the public.

Owolabi will present the recital on the four-manual, 85-stop, Zion organ. He will perform works by Craig Phillips, César Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns, Petr Eben, William Farley-Smith, Adolphus Hailstork and Rachel Laurin.

At Notre Dame, Owolabi teaches the graduate organ performance majors in the sacred music program, as well as courses in hymn playing and improvisation. He previously held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan from 2014 to 2020, and at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2014.

Owolabi has had an active career as a solo recitalist, including performances at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York, St. James Episcopal Church in Los Angeles, The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto, Cornell University, Pacific Lutheran University and Yale University. International venues include Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria, Église du Bouclier in Strasbourg, France, and the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. He was a featured performer at the American Guild of Organists National Convention in Boston in June 2014, performing three recitals at Methuen Memorial Music Hall. He also performed a concert for the Organ Historical Society Convention in Syracuse in August 2014, and has performed numerous concerts as organist and harpsichordist with the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra, based in Miami, Florida. Owolabi has released two solo CD recordings on the Raven label: “Sacred Expressions: Twentieth-Century Music for Organ” featuring works by Olivier Messiaen, Petr Eben and Calvin Hampton performed on the historic Holtkamp organ at Syracuse University; and Jacques Boyvin: Four Suites from the Second Livre d’Orgue (1700), performed on the 1732 Andreas Silbermann organ in Saint-Maurice Abbey, Ebersmunster, France.

Owolabi is also a published composer and has received commissions from the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. His solo organ composition “Dance” was selected for the Royal Canadian College of Organists National Competition in August 2013, where all of the finalists performed this composition. His choral works have been performed internationally by ensembles such as the Santa Cruz (California) Chorale, Nashville Chamber Singers, Illinois Wesleyan University Choir and the Elmer Isler Singers in Toronto.

In 2002, Owolabi was awarded second prize and audience prize at the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance. He holds degrees in organ performance and choral conducting from McGill University, Montreal, Yale University and Eastman School of Music.

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