By George Basler
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of César Franck, the renowned composer, pianist, organist and music teacher. The Binghamton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists is celebrating with a special concert at 7 p.m. Friday (April 22) at United Presbyterian Church, 42 Chenango St., Binghamton. Organist Mark Laubach will be featured.
“Franck is a major organ composer, and we wanted to mark the occasion,” said John Holt, dean of the Binghamton chapter.
Franck, who was born in modern-day Belgium in 1822, wrote several pieces that have entered the standard repertoire, including symphonic, chamber and keyboard works. Laubach will perform several of these works, including the Chorale in A Minor, Holt said.
Laubach is the organist and choirmaster at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he administers a liturgical and choral music program, a concert series and Music from St. Stephen’s, a radio broadcast heard weekly on WVIA 89.9 FM Public Radio.
During his career, Laubach has performed in many of the most prominent churches and concert halls in the United States, Great Britain and Germany. Notable United Kingdom recitals include appearances at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge and cathedrals in Bristol, Chichester, Gloucester, Lincoln, Norwich and Wells.
Laubach is currently on tour with a Franck program, with Binghamton one of the stops, Holt said.
Friday’s concert is free of charge, but a free-will offering will be accepted. COVID regulations will be in effect, and masks will be required, Holt said.