John Obetz, concert artist
John Obetz and THE AUDITORIUM ORGAN were heard weekly all across the country for more than 25 years. This popular broadcast, originating at the world headquarters of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Independence, Missouri, was heard by an audience of thousands every week, and made him one of the most widely heard organists in America.
As a concert organist he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, with appearances in such places as Westminster Abbey and the Kennedy Center. Additionally he has been a featured soloist with numerous symphony orchestras and for many conventions of the American Guild of Organists. A champion of contemporary music, he has premiered works by Ned Rorem, Morton Feldman, and Gerald Kemner at major festivals in the United States. He has recorded extensively throughout his career, the current CD recordings being available on the RBW Record Company label.
Dr. Obetz received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University, and earned a doctorate in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he studied with Vernon deTar. His further study has included work with Marie-Claire Alain in Paris, and participation in the International Academy for Organists in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
John Obetz was re-elected recently to the national council of the American Guild of Organists, serving as Treasurer and Councillor for Finance and Development. Sigma Alpha Iota national music fraternity honored him recently as National Arts Associate for "being among the most outstanding gentleman musicians in the United States." In April of 1998 he was named Organist Emeritus by the RLDS church.
Dr. Obetz has distinguished himself as a teacher and serves on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri at Kansas City.
"Obetz played with unusual technical refinement and elegant artistry."
"He proved to be a versatile performer in regard to style, and unfolded a virtuoso technique."
"Last night Dr. John Obetz offered a superlative performance that topped anything this reviewer has heard in recent years. It was a thrilling night.
Best of all, in his performance, the instrument sang in the French style. In the Franck "B Minor Chorale," in the Olivier Messiaen "Outburst of Joy," and in the delicious little duet by Louis Claude d'Aquin on a "Noel Theme," the instrument sang and sang and sang, like the most mechanical of instruments seldom does."
"Mr. Obetz played a recital that was technically precise, but was also musically penetrating and satisfying. His performance of the often-heard Franck "A Minor Chorale" was one of the finest we have heard."
"Obetz demonstrated that he has the technique for almost anything he would wish to undertake."
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