On Friday, February 2, 2024, organist Douglas Cleveland will present a program entitled “The Tradition and Transcendence of the French Organ Symphony.” This program will include the Symphonie II in E minor, Op. 20 by Louis Vierne, movements from Symphonie V in F minor, Op. 42 by Charles-Marie Widor, and Évocation (Poème Symphonique), Op. 37, by Marcel Dupré. The Vierne work was the composer’s first cyclical symphony for solo organ; the first movement contains all of the thematic motives and materials for the development of the entire symphony. Dupré’s Évocation is comprised of three movements: an opening that introduces the drama and color of this large-scale work dedicated to his father, Albert Dupré; a lyrical slow movement; and a vigorous, powerful dance-like final movement that is a pinnacle and an exclamation mark for this program of French symphonic tradition in the twentieth century.
Doug Cleveland was born in Tacoma, Washington and raised in Olympia. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Russell Saunders, a master’s degree from Indiana University studying with Larry Smith and Marilyn Keiser, and a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Foundation, where he completed his course work and final doctoral project at the University of Oxford School of Theology. He has been on the music faculties of St. Olaf College, Northwestern University, and the University of Washington. For twelve years he served as Director of Music at Plymouth Church in Seattle and is currently director of music at St. Thomas Medina Episcopal Church and Musician in Residence at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle.
Doug won first prize in the American Guild of Organists National Young Artists Competition in Dallas. Since then, he has performed in all fifty of the United States and in venues throughout Europe and Asia. His performances with American symphony orchestras have included the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony and the National Symphony in Washington, DC. In Seattle, he has performed several times on the Seattle Symphony Organ Series at Benaroya Hall. He has performed with Seattle Pro Musica, Choral Arts Northwest, the Seattle Men’s Chorus, and Northwest Chamber Chorus. He has recorded six CDs on the Gothic label, which have received critical acclaim — his most recent being “Douglas Cleveland Plays Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago.” He has performed at the AGO National Conventions of Dallas, Denver, and Kansas City.
Revised July 2023