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Virtuoso Joel Bacon

October 18, 2012

Virtuoso Joel Bacon, Organ, will perform a provocative mix of the old and new, with music to show off all of the tonal resources of CSU's beloved Casavant organ, one of the top 25 organs in the world.

Joel Bacon, Ph.D., holds the first endowed chair in the College of Liberal Arts, recognizing him for his musicianship, teaching, and leadership.Monday, October 22
7:30-9 p.m.
Organ Recital Hall
University Center for the Arts
1400 Remington Street

The Virtuoso Series at Colorado State’s University Center for Arts continues with a very special concert by CSU Professor of Organ and Liturgical Studies Joel Bacon on the world-renowned Casavant Organ.


  • $7/CSU students
  • $1/youth (under 17)
  • $12/ public

Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) Ticket Office in the UCA Griffin lobby, by phone at (970) 491-2787, or online. Advance purchase is recommended to avoid at-the-door fees.

Casavant: One of top 25 organs

The concert, “Bach and Modern,” will present a provocative mix of the old and new, with music to show off all of the tonal resources of CSU's beloved Casavant organ, noted as one of the top 25 greatest organs in the world.

The program features familiar works by J.S. Bach including the Piéce d'orgue, BWV 572, the Pastorale, BWV 590, and the famous chorale prelude on Wachet auf. Interspersed with these famous Bach works will be colorful modern compositions by Olivier Messiaen, Naji Hakim, and Anton Heiller.

Near-death experience inspiration for Wachet auf

Bach’s Wachet auf is based on a Lutheran hymn, written by Philipp Nicolai, recounting the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. The chorale cantata has become one of the composer’s most famous and best-loved works. While this cantata’s popularity has soared, it origins are rooted in tragedy.

Philipp Nicolai, a pastor living in 16th century Germany, was inspired to write 'Wachet auf' after falling ill with the plague and miraculously surviving.

During a terrible plague outbreak in Europe in the late 16th century, approximately 1300 residents of the small town of Unna, Germany died of the disease.

Unna’s pastor, Philipp Nicolai (1556-1608), also became ill and was certain he, too, would die. While anticipating his death, he recorded his meditations in his journal. When, to his surprise, he made a full recovery, he wrote the hymn Wachet auf, which has now achieved immortality in the cannon.

About Joel Bacon

A native of New Jersey, Joel Bacon, Ph.D., holds degrees in mathematics and organ performance from Baylor University in Waco, TX, and an artist diploma in organ from the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (Vienna, Austria). He earned his Ph.D. in historical musicology through a joint degree program of Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts and the University of Vienna.

Joel Bacon has a growing reputation as a performer, teacher and scholar in North America and Europe. He has been heard in recital in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Canada, and the US, and live performances have been broadcast on Austrian Radio (Ö1) and Public Radio International. He currently holds the Stewart and Sheron Golden Chair in Organ and Liturgical Studies, the first endowed chair in the College of Liberal Arts.

Learn more

For a full performance and event calendar, more information, and to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit our website.

Contact: Carrie Care
Phone: (970) 491-5891