Kimberly Marshall

Kimberly Marshall, organist
Kimberly Marshall maintains an active career as a concert organist, performing regularly in Europe, the US and Asia. She has held teaching positions at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and Stanford University, California. Winner of the St. Albans Competition in 1985, she has been invited to play in prestigious venues and has recorded for Radio-France, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she began her organ studies with John Mueller at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her early interest in French music took her to France where she worked with Louis Robilliard and Xavier Darasse before returning to North Carolina to complete her undergraduate studies with Fenner Douglass. 

Following her victory at St. Albans, Marshall was invited to play throughout Europe, including concerts in London's Royal Festival Hall and Westminster Cathedral, King's College, Cambridge, Chartres Cathedral, Uppsala Cathedral, and the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem. She has also performed on many historical organs, such as the Couperin organ at Saint-Gervais, Paris; the Gothic organ in Sion, Switzerland; and the Cahmann organ in Leufstabruk, Sweden. She especially enjoys tailoring programs to the styles of the instruments she plays, as is evident from her recordings of Italian and Spanish music on historical organs. Her playing is informed by research into obscure repertoire and by a knowledge of performance practice, although she does not limit herself to early music. 

While at Stanford and the Royal Academy of Music, she gave performances of organ works by Ligeti in the presence of the composer, and she has been an advocate for music by Margaret Sandresky, Dan Locklair and Ofer Ben-Amots. She is attracted to the organ by its vast possibilities of timbre and by the instrument’s complex development since its invention in the third century BCE. Her work reflects this enthusiasm for musical creativity and historical awareness.

In 1986, Kimberly Marshall received the D.Phil. in Music from the University of Oxford. Her thesis, Iconographical Evidence for the Late-Medieval Organ, was published by Garland in 1989. She has developed this work in several articles and lecture/presentations and the CD recording “Gothic Pipes.” She has lectured on her research for the American Musicological Society, the Royal College of Organists, and the Berkeley Organ Conference. In recognition of her work, Kimberly Marshall was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her research and teaching during 1991 at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia. Her edition of articles on female traditions of musicmaking, Rediscovering the Muses, was published by Northeastern University Press in 1993, and she contributed entries for the Grove Dictionary of Music 2000 and for the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages.

Dr. Marshall’s compact disc recordings feature music of the Italian and Spanish Renaissance, French Classical and Romantic periods, and works by J. S. Bach. Her most recent CD celebrates the music of Arnolt Schlick on the 500th anniversary of its publication (2012). A CD/DVD set entitled A Fantasy through Time was released on the Loft label in 2009, receiving effusive reviews, as did her recording of Chen Yi’s organ concerto with the Singapore Symphony on the BIS label (2003). She has also made a recording of works for organ by female composers, “Divine Euterpe,” that includes music by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Elfrida Andrée, and Ethyl Smyth.

Kimberly Marshall was a recitalist and workshop leader during many National Conventions of the American Guild of Organists (Dallas, 1994; New York, 1996; Denver, 1998; Seattle, 2000; Denver, 2002; Los Angeles, 2004; Minneapolis, 2008; Washington, 2010). A review of her performance for the convention in July 2010 extolls her as “a multi-faceted musician” who “pushed the organ to its limit with her virtuosic demands in playing and registration...This was a royal performance by one of our royalty!”

From 1996-2000, she was affiliated with the Organ Research Center in Göteborg, Sweden, where she taught and performed; under the aegis of GOArt, she organized the conference “The Organ in Recorded Sound,” and has edited the proceedings of this, the first-ever conference devoted to sound recordings of the organ. Her anthologies of late-medieval and Renaissance organ music were published by Wayne Leupold Editions in 2000 and 2004.

Marshall spent the spring of 2005 on sabbatical in Pistoia, Italy, where she researched early Italian organ music and performed on many historical organs, including those in Roskilde Cathedral (Denmark), the St. Laurenskerk, Alkmaar (Netherlands), the Jacobikirche Hamburg, as well as the famous Hildebrandt instrument in Naumburg, Germany, which Bach examined in 1746. During the summer of 2006, she presented concerts and workshops on early music in Sweden and Israel, and she was a featured artist for the 2007 Early English Organ Project in Oxford and the Festival for Historical Organs in Oaxaca, Mexico. 

Dr. Marshall is the advisor on organs for the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix and has made videos for their exhibits in Guanajuato (Mexico), Toulouse (France) and Florence (Italy). She is an experienced adjudicator, having served on the jury of the National AGO competition in 2008, of the Sweelinck competition in Amsterdam in 2010, as chair of the jury for the Northern Ireland International Organ Competition in 2012 and on the Pistoia International Organ Competition and the Westfield Center’s Organ Competition in 2013. She currently holds the Patricia and Leonard Goldman Endowed Professorship in Organ at Arizona State University.


Playing the first movement of Widor VI  at St. Sernin, Toulouse        

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