AGO American Guild of Organists
Binghamton, New York Chapter

Jonathan Biggers Jonathan Biggers, DMA, has passed away in his sleep at the age of 56 of natural causes. His body was found Tuesday, September 27, after failing to appear for a class that he was scheduled to teach.

Biggers maintained an active career as professor of organ and harpsichord with frequent appearances as a concert artist. He held the prestigious Edwin Link Endowed Professorship in Organ and Harpsichord at Binghamton University (State University of New York). He was highly regarded for his dedication to the art of pedagogy, being well known for going the extra mile in furthering the advancement of his many students, both formal and informal.

Jonathan presented hundreds of concerts in church and university settings throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He also appeared as a featured soloist with orchestras in the United States and Canada, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic, and has been featured frequently on NPR ("Pipedreams"), the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC), and on Radio and Television Suisse Romande broadcasts in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Biggers studied with Russell Saunders (Eastman School of Music, DMA), Lionel Rogg (Conservatory of Music, Geneva Switzerland; Fulbright study); J. Warren Hutton (The University of Alabama, MM and BMus), and with Wallace Zimmerman (Atlanta, pre-college). He also worked extensively with Harold Vogel (Bremen, Germany) and with Arthur Poister (former Professor of Organ at Syracuse University). A prizewinner of dozens of competitions, he was notably awarded a unanimous first prize in the 1985 Geneva International Competition, second prize in the 1982 American Guild of Organists National Organ Playing Competition and a unanimous first prize in the 1990 Calgary International Organ Festival Concerto Competition, where he presented with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra the world premier performance of Snowwalker: A Concerto for Organ and Orchestra by Pulitzer prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass. A champion of new music for the organ, he premiered other works by notable 20th- and 21st-century composers such as Richard Proulx (Concerto for Organ and Orchestra), Craig Phillips (Suite for Organ, Brass and Percussion), Persis Vehar (Soundpiece for Organ), and David Brackett, former composition professor at Binghamton University (Nightworks for organ). His discography includes two highly acclaimed compact disc recordings on the Calcante Recordings label (Sleepers Wake! A Reger Perspective, featuring five major organ works by Romantic composer Max Reger; and Bach on the Fritts!, featuring major organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach).

Biggers’ goals included a recording of the complete organ works of J.S. Bach, alas unfulfilled.


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