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Haskell Thomson

Haskell Thomson has served a noteworthy tenure spanning four decades, since 1961, as Professor of Organ and as Director of the Division of Keyboard Studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Equally noteworthy is his influence on organ-playing, as many of his students have ­attained positions of stature throughout the music teaching, church music and concert organ professions. He has performed at Westminster Abbey and the Queen’s College of Oxford University (England); Bern Cathedral (Switzerland), Ste. Sulpice and Ste. François de Sales (France), Lisbon and Braga Cathedrals (Portugal), NHK Concert Hall (Japan); the National Cathedral and Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago (United States). Mr. Thomson hold degrees from Oberlin College and Yale University and his studies include French improvisation techniques with André Marchal, and under the auspices of a McCandless grant, the 19th-century French organ tradition ­associated with Cavaillé-Coll. At Oberlin he ­designed and taught a course in ­romantic and contemporary (20th-century) organ music that has been a part of the curriculum since 1980. Olivier Messiaen hailed him as “a great organist’ following a performance of the French ­composer’s Pentecost Mass, and wrote ­further that his performance “was magnificent in both execution and interpretation, with a superb technique, and with great intelligence of registration, a perfect choice of tone colors.” Mr Thomson is a noted expert in the practical aspects of church music: choir training, service playing and liturgy.