OPUS 327 NFP is dedicated to preserving the historic E. M. Skinner organ, Opus 327, and its perfectly matched acoustical space in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston and to training young people in the traditions of sacred music.

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About

OPUS 327 NFP is music performance, music education, and stewardship.
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Organ Specifications

The Skinner organ at St. Luke’s Church in Evanston, IL is both magnificent and exceedingly rare.
Learn About Opus 327
View Specifications

Listen

Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States.

Listen Here

Buy Tickets

Buy tickets here to any of our upcoming paid performances, or see season listing below for details of all events.

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About Us

OPUS 327 NFP carries out three activities:

  • music performance
  • music education
  • stewardship

All activities involve the historic Skinner Opus 327 pipe organ and its acoustical setting, which is the nave (central worship space) of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois.

OPUS 327 NFP promotes performance by maintaining a fund to support festivals, recitals, and recordings. Organists regularly contact the church and ask to play the instrument, and many American organists have honed their improvisational skills on Opus 327. Many choral and instrumental groups, a large number of which involve members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, regularly offer concerts in the nave. For performance, the organ and its acoustic space are inseparable.

Opus 327 has been used for master classes and individual organ lessons. It also supports the internationally recognized music program at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which provides rigorous music education and choral practice to kindergartners through adults of diverse circumstances. Opus 327 permits the church to introduce children to the finest in sacred music, leading the children, in turn, to aspire to their finest vocal work. The music education program is fully described through the church’s website.

E. M. Skinner’s Opus 327 is an intricate instrument whose musical legacy requires stewardship. In the 1990s, every pipe was cleaned and repaired and every leather part was replaced. The entire console was gutted and rebuilt to update its brass, wood, leather, and steel components and miles of wiring. In 2013, the St. Luke’s congregation replaced the original Opus 327 motor. When Opus 327 was installed, the church regularly hosted close to a thousand Sunday worshippers. Today, the regular Sunday attendance hovers near 200. Donations and grants to OPUS 327 NFP ensure that Opus 327 and its environment will provide superlative music for many decades to come.

There are many beautiful organs in America, but there is no organ more beautiful than Skinner Opus 327 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL.

— Nathan Laube, June 2016

Though I had already recorded on several Skinner organs dating from the 1920s and early 30s, I was nonetheless delighted by the exceptional refinement of the organ’s voicing.

— Ken Cowan, September 2002

Events and Tickets

Welcome to OPUS 327's 2nd annual subscription season!

OPUS 327 2017-18 SEASON

All events take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Ave, Evanston

www.stlukesevanston.org

DATES- TIME

EVENT

TICKET PRICES

October 28,
7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

500th Anniversary of the Reformation

J. S. Bach’s Cantatas

BWV 80, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
and BWV 79, Gott, der Herr, ist Sonn’ und Schild
Bella Voce Camerata, the Choir of St. Luke’s,  and period instrument orchestra, Ars Antigua

Andrew Lewis, Conductor

The Prelude & Fugue in E-Flat Major, BWV 552

Dr. Christine Kraemer , Organist

Oktoberfest: $45

Join us and co-host SKETCHBOOK BREWERY for an Oktoberfest celebration after the concert! Beer and brats just an extra $15.

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

 

BUY TICKETS

 

October 29,
4:00 PM

Northwestern University’s
Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble
Donald Nally Conducts this 24-voice ensemble drawing heavily on 21st Century music and drawing relationships to its polyphonic roots in early sacred music.

Free Event

Wednesdays December 6, 13, and 20, 11:30 AM-12 noon

 Organ Meditations for Advent

Dr. Christine Kraemer

Organist and Organ
Curator St. Luke’s and OPUS 327

 

Free Will Offering

January 19,
7:30 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

Stephen Buzard Organ Recital

Stephen Buzard is Director of Music at St. James Cathedral in Chicago and is therefore organist/choirmaster for the Cathedral Choir and principal musician of the Cathedral, responsible for leading, managing and coordinating the music program as an effective part of the Cathedral’s overall ministry.

Formerly acting organist and director of music at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City, Stephen is a graduate of Westminster Choir College (2010) and Yale University Institute of Sacred Music (2013). He was winner of the 2010 Arthur Poister Competition and was recently named one of the top 20 organists under 30 by The Diapason magazine. Stephen’s premier recording, “In Light or Darkness,” (Delos) has received wide critical acclaim.

 

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

February 2,
7:30 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

Alexander Frey Organ Recital

Alexander Frey is an American symphony orchestra conductor, virtuoso organist, pianist, harpsichordist and composer. Frey is in great demand as one of the world’s most versatile conductors, and enjoys great success in the concert hall and opera house, and in the music of Broadway and Hollywood.

As pianist and organist, Frey has performed with many symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Munich Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (ORF), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra), and many more under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, John Mauceri, Michael Tilson Thomas and Howard Shore.

Maestro Frey appears on this program pro bono as a fundraiser for Opus 327.

Special package: $75 Recital + Dinner with Maestro Frey at CAMPAGNOLA after the performance

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

February 24,
7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

The Music of J. S. Bach

BWV 8, Liebster Gott, wenn werd ich sterben?

BWV 12, Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen

Bella Voce Camerata, Trebles of St. Luke’s Choir, and period instrument orchestra, Ars Antigua

Andrew Lewis, Conducting

BWV 582, Passacaglia in c minor

Chorale prelude, BWV 731, Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier

Dr. Christine Kraemer, Organist

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

Wednesday, March 14,
7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

Stephen Tharp Organ Recital

“Stephen Tharp is the best organist in America.”

The Diapason

“…performed colorfully, rousing and splendid…”

The New York Times

Stephen Tharp, hailed as “the organist for the connoisseur” (organ – Journal für die Orgel, Germany), “the thinking person’s performer” (Het Orgel), “every bit the equal of any organist” (The American Organist” magazine) and “the consummate creative artist” (Michael Barone, Pipedreams), is recognized as one of the great concert organists of our age.

Having played more than 1400 concerts across 50 tours worldwide, Stephen Tharp has built one of the most well-respected international careers in the world, earning him the reputation as the most traveled concert organist of his generation. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World, and has been given the 2011 International Performer of the Year Award by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In May 2015, he was given the Paul Creston Award which recognizes artistic excellence by a significant figure in church music and the performing arts.

 

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

February 21, 28, March 7
11:30 AM-12:00 noon

Organ Meditations for Lent
Dr. Christine Kraemer
Organist and Organ Curator
St. Luke’s and OPUS 327

Free Will Offering

Easter Monday, April 2, 7:00 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

Malcolm Archer Organ Recital

Malcolm is currently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College in the heart of England, where he trains and conducts the Quiristers and Chapel Choir and teaches organ in the College. He has enjoyed a distinguished career in cathedral music, which has taken him to posts at Norwich, Bristol, and Wells Cathedrals, as well as Director of Music at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

He is much in demand internationally as a Composer, Conductor and Recitalist, and this web site aims to convey a flavour of Malcolm’s musicianship, and provide a convenient point of contact for those wishing to contact him on professional matters, and learn more of his contributions to Church Music all over the world.

 

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

BUY TICKETS

April  22,
3:30 PM

OPUS 327 Presents

The Music of Olivier Messiaen

Quatour pour le Fin du Temps

The Musical Offering Quartet

www.themusicaloffering.org

Diptyque: essay sur la vie terrestre et l’eternite bienhereuse

Christine Kraemer, organ

Premium: $30
Adult:  $25
Student:  $15
Children under 18: Free

 BUY TICKETS

The Organ

The Skinner organ at St. Luke’s Church in Evanston, Illinois, Ernest M. Skinner’s “Opus [work] 327,” is both magnificent and exceedingly rare. Fully restored in the 1990s, Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States, a rare surviving example of Skinner’s artistic and engineering genius.
The organ and its acoustic space are inseparable. The St. Luke’s nave, or central worship space, is itself a powerful musical instrument. The Gothic-style building was begun in 1906 to the designs of John Sutcliffe and erected in several stages. In 1914, the nave was completed to a height of seventy feet. Construction halted after the 1929 stock market crash and never resumed.

In 1922, the Skinner Organ Company of Boston, Massachusetts, installed its Opus 327, a four-manual organ. The organ is in chambers to the right (south) of the chancel area. The Choir and Pedal divisions have the lowest position; the Great and Solo are above; the Swell division is at the top. The main façade, facing the chancel, includes some speaking pipes. A smaller façade in the south aisle is composed of dummy pipes. In 1959, the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company installed the Fanfare Trumpet above the west doors of the nave.

Opus 327 was built to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra. The organ’s console, to the left (north) of the chancel, allows the musician to create sound using “a sophisticated electro-pneumatic computer” that Ernest M. Skinner invented and perfected. The voice of each of its thousands of metal and wooden pipes (see the specifications) is controlled by air that enters a leather pouch through a valve. The pipes sit in “windchests” that receive air from reservoirs that must be kept at optimal pressure and humidity. A motor forces air into the reservoirs through a blower in the church’s lower level.

dr-kraemerIn the 1990s, after 70 years of steady use and wear and tear, every pipe was cleaned and repaired and every leather part was replaced. The entire console was gutted and rebuilt to update its brass, wood, leather, and steel components and miles of wiring. In 2013, the original Opus 327 motor was replaced. In 2014 the church launched a $1.8 million capital campaign to restore the nave, a process completed in 2016.

The Diapasons in the Great division of the organ in St. Luke’s Church, Evanston, Illinois, are most satisfactory to me and are of ideal Diapason character. This church has fine acoustics and, in their locations, these Diapasons have an indescribable glow and richness, making them exceptionally churchly.

— Ernest M. Skinner (Composition of the Organ)

Listen!

Opus 327 is today one of a very few close-to-original Skinner organs left in the United States.

Organ Solo from Missa Glagolitica, Leoš Janáček

Karel Paukert

Variations, Maurice Durufle

Christine Kraemer

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

You will be transferred to a secure PayPal site to process your donation. Thank you so much for your support of the arts.

Lifetime Founding Member

$10,000 and up.  Major program listing, 4 premium seats for five seasons

Presenter - lifetime

$5000 – 9,999 includes headline with OPUS 327 as presenter of a given concert and 4 premium season subscriptions

Sponsor - annual

$1000 – $4,999 includes 4 premium season subscriptions and program listing

Major Sustaining Member - annual

$500 – $999 includes 2 season subscriptions with premium seats and program listing

Sustaining Member - annual

$200 – $499 includes a season subscription with premium seating and program listing

Friends of OPUS 327 - annual

$25 – $199 per year – includes program listing

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