Organist Dr. Wolfgang Reisinger of Vienna, Austria, will present a recital in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Hope College’s popular Vienna Summer School on Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel through the Donia Organ Recital Series.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Reisinger, who is active as an organist, church musician, composer, conductor, teacher and organ consultant, has been on the program’s faculty since 2006, teaching “Vienna’s Musical Traditions.” A Viennese native with doctorates from the Universities of Vienna and Kansas, he has served as director of the Vienna Church Music Conservatory and organ consultant for the Vienna Archdiocese. He composed music for Pope Benedict’s 2007 visit to Austria.
He will perform pieces by Muffat, J.S. Bach, C.P.E. Bach, Rheinberger, Vierne, and Duruflé. A dessert and beverage reception will follow in the atrium of the A. Paul Schaap Science Center across the street, to which the public is also invited.
The college’s Vienna Summer School was founded in 1956 by the late Dr. Paul Fried, who was a member of the Hope history faculty and Hope’s first director of international education. The program has been led since 1976 by Dr. Stephen Hemenway of the English faculty. Nearly 3,500 students from more than 200 colleges and universities have enrolled in the summer school since its beginning.
The recital will be the final event in the college’s celebration of the program’s 60th anniversary. Hope had also scheduled a variety of activities in Austria in conjunction with this year’s Vienna Summer School. Events included a recital in Vienna during which Reisinger performed along with Hope students.
Reisinger studied church music and organ performance at the Vienna University of Music from 1983 to 1993. He received his first doctorate in organ performance from the University of Kansas in 2003, and a second in musicology from the University of Music in Vienna in 2008.
Since 1986, he has performed regularly in most European countries as well as in Russia, China, South Korea and the United States. During his time in the U.S. for the Hope concert, he will also be performing in Chicago, Illinois; Sioux City, Iowa; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
He has been the organist at St. Brigitta in Vienna since 1979. Between 1987 and 1990, he was organist and choir director at the Baroque abbey of St. Florian, 100 miles west of Vienna. In 1987, he started his international career as interim cathedral organist at the Swedish Lutheran Cathedral of Strängnäs in Sweden. Between 2001 and 2003, he was director of music at the Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
Reisinger started his teaching career in Upper Austria, and in 1990 became professor at the Conservatory of sacred music in Vienna, where he teaches organ, improvisation, harmony, organ building and design, liturgical organ playing and history of sacred music. On two occasions, he served as a guest professor at the University of Music in Vienna and taught hymnology and figured bass at the University of Music in Graz, Austria. He has also given guest lectures at U.S. universities and continues to direct international church music conferences.
He has composed numerous works for the liturgy, primarily vocal music—psalm settings, motets, hymn arrangements, new sacred music, mass settings—and some music for organ and piano. He has also served as chief editor for music publications with Doblinger, Vienna.
During his time as director of sacred music of the Archdiocese of Vienna, he was responsible for supervising all organ and church bell projects in Vienna. He intensively dealt with organ builders and helped many parishes with organ renovations and building new organs.
The recital has been made possible through the generous support of the college’s Tom Donia Memorial Organ Fund. The fund was created in 1990 by family and friends of Tom Donia, a 1971 Hope graduate who died in 1990. The director of communications for the American Red Cross, Donia had a life-long interest in music.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.