November 12, 2015

Organist Jonathan Dimmock is Featured in Brass Choir Concert

Jonathan Dimmock

The Sonoma State University Brass Ensemble will join forces with San Francisco organist Jonathan Dimmock for an entire program of music for brass and organ on Sunday, November 22, at 2 pm in Schroeder Hall at the Green Music Center.

Dimmock, cited by the Natal Mercury (South Africa) for “musicianship, taste, and unostentatious virtuosity,” is the choir director and accompanist at Congregation Sherith Israel and organist for the San Francisco Symphony, with whom he has recorded the Grammy award-winning CD of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.

Immediately following the performance, Dimmock will treat members of the audience to an intimate musical postlude followed by Q&A, made possible by the Redwood Empire chapter, American Guild of Organists.

The program of Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic selections will conclude with the premiere of Angels, a three-movement suite for brass and organ by Brass Ensemble conductor Brian S. Wilson. The work’s final movement, “Stood the Seraphim,” was first performed during the opening weekend of Schroeder Hall.

Angels depicts the prophet Ezekiel’s fantastical vision of Cherubim with four sets of wings and four faces (man, lion, ox and eagle), quite in contrast to the more popular idea of chubby, winged babies. “I love the vivid imagery of biblical stories like Ezekiel’s wheel and Jacob’s ladder,” Wilson said. “As with most of my work, each of the movements has a quote from the Jewish liturgy, though it is not necessary to know this in order to understand the work as absolute music,” he added.

Tickets are $8, available at the door and online.  

Schroeder Hall is located at Sonoma State’s Green Music Center, two miles east of Highway 101 on Rohnert Park Expressway, near the intersection with Petaluma Hill Road. Parking is available in lots L, M, N and O.

Jonathan Dimmock, organ
SSU Brass Ensemble
Brian S. Wilson, composer and conductor
Sunday, November 22, 2 pm
Schroeder Hall
Green Music Center at Sonoma State University

Strauss – Feierlicher Einzug (Solemn Entry of the Knights of the Order of St. John) for large brass ensemble and organ
Gabrieli – Canzona in Double Echo for two brass choirs and organ
Gabrieli – Canzona Duodecimi Toni for five-part brass choir with organ
Schutz – Psalm 111 for four brass choirs and organ
Handel – Organ Concerto, Op. 4, no. 2 for brass choir and organ
Charpentier – Prelude to Te Deum for five-part brass choir with organ
Brahms – 3 Chorale Preludes
Wilson – Angels for brass and organ - premiere





Concert organist Jonathan Dimmock has distinguished himself through his dazzling and highly sensitive performances in churches, major concert halls, music festivals and cathedrals throughout the world. Lauded for his diverse repertoire and his engagement with audiences, his performing is marked by both musical depth and a distinctive personalness, causing audiences immediately to warm to him. Hailed by the Eskilstuna-Kuriren (Sweden) for “power and flaming brio,” cited by the Natal Mercury (South Africa) for “musicianship, taste, and unostentatious virtuosity,” and described by the Adelaide Advertiser (Australia) as playing in such a way that “the organ has rarely sounded more clear and multi-hued than in his very expert and virtuoso hands and feet,” Jonathan is considered by many to be one of the leading musicians in his field.

Inspired, as a young boy, by two significant historical figures, Thomas Edison and J. S. Bach, Jonathan, himself, is noteworthy as both an entrepreneur (like Edison) and a multi-faceted artist (like Bach). Of the many organizations, ensembles, and non-profits he has founded, the award-winning American Bach Soloists stands out among the biggest musical ensembles, followed by AVE (Artists’ Vocal Ensemble), the acclaimed professional vocal ensemble, which he directs, specializing in Renaissance and contemporary polyphony. He plays keyboards with many ensembles, including the San Francisco Symphony, where he has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s greatest conductors. His solo performing career, as well as his work as an accompanist, takes him on foreign and domestic tours.

A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music and Yale Divinity School, he became the first American ever to hold the prestigious position of Organ Scholar of Westminster Abbey. He then went on to serve three American cathedrals, St. John the Divine in New York City, and St. Mark’s in Minneapolis, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and over twelve years at the largest Jesuit Church in the United States: St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco. Jonathan now resides in California, serving as Choir Director and Accompanist at Congregation Sherith Israel and as Organist for the San Francisco Symphony. With the San Francisco Symphony he participated in the Grammy award-winning CD recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Classical Album of the year for 2009).His teachers and mentors have included Dame Gillian Weir, Peter Hallock, Paul Halley, Simon Preston, Jean Langlais, Harald Vogel, Ton Koopman, William Porter, J. Franklin Clark, Thomas Murray, Gerre Hancock, and Haskell Thomson.
His interest in French improvisational styles led him to pursue study with Frédéric Blanc, Naji Hakim, and Gerre Hancock. He is a published composer and writer, and his more-than-forty CDs appear on labels including Gothic, Loft, Raven, BCI Records, Time-Warner Recordings, and Koch International. He has been interviewed and featured on National Public Radio, Radio France, BBC3, ABC (Australia), MTV2 (Budapest), BCC (Barbados), and SABC (South Africa).His appreciation of the healing power of music and the arts led him to found Resonance – an organization using music in international conflict resolution. He loves to be engaged in conversation on the topics of Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality and the Arts.


Brian S. Wilson is a composer and conductor whose oeuvre includes chamber music, jazz, music theatre and opera, choral, wind band and orchestra. Winner of the International Trombone Association's composition award, his music has been performed throughout the US, Greece, Italy, Israel, Russia, Colombia, Latvia, Estonia and Costa Rica. When he is not at his station as Professor of Music and Department Chair at Sonoma State University, Brian loves to daydream about his next travel adventure.





Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
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Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928