David Higgs

Friday, March 31, 2017
7:30 PM
Christ United Methodist Church

Artist Bio

Organist DAVID HIGGS has been hailed as having "very secure finger work, an unusual sense of tempo that is at once buoyant and rock-steady, and an imaginative judgement of organ registrations that subtly exploits a wide range of effects but never insists on showing us the whole range within a single piece" (The New York Times).

Mr. Higgs performs extensively throughout the United States and abroad, and has inaugurated many important new instruments. His performances with numerous ensembles have included the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Orpheus Ensemble, Chanticleer, and the Empire Brass. For more than twenty years the San Francisco Symphony featured his holiday organ recitals at Davies Symphony Hall, and now the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Hollywood Bowl continues that tradition each year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


David Higgs is also Chair of the Organ Department at the Eastman School of Music. He performs, teaches, and adjudicates at festivals and competitions throughout the world, including the International Organ Festivals and Competitions of Bremen, Germany; the Leipzig Bach Competition; the Gottfried Silbermann Competition; and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival among others. He has appeared several times at the Oundle International Festival and Organ Academy, the St. Albans International Festival and Competition, the Cambridge Summer Festival, the Xavier Darasse International Competition, and a recent performance of an all-Bach recital for the composer's birthday at Izumi Hall. His performances for colleagues include national, regional and pedagogy conventions of the American Guild of Organists, as well as national conventions of the American Pipe Organ Builders Association, the American Institute of Organbuilders, the Annual Congress of the Incorporated Association of Organists, and the International Congress of Organists.

A native of New York City, Higgs held his first position as a church organist at age ten; as a teenager, he performed classical music as well as rock, gospel, and soul music. He earned the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Manhattan School of Music, and the Performer's Certi cate from the Eastman School of Music. In New York City, he was Director of Music and Organist at Park Avenue Christian Church, and later Associate Organist of the Riverside Church, where he also conducted the Riverside Choral Society.

After moving to San Francisco in 1986, he became Director of Music and Organist at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley, Director of Church Music Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, and Organist/Choir Director at Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco.

In addition to his significant performing career, Mr. Higgs has distinguished himself as a pedagogue. He was appointed to the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music upon graduation from that institution, and has been a member of the faculty of the Eastman School of Music since 1992. His students have won prizes in prestigious international competitions, and hold important positions in leading academic and religious institutions.

Mr. Higgs has recorded for Delos International, Pro Organo, Arsis, Loft, and Gothic records.


  • Toccata in F, BuxWV 156 Dieterich Buxtehude (1637–1707)
  • Langsamer Satz J.S. Bach (1685-1750) (9 movements)
  • Fantasie in G Minor Johann Gottfried Müthel (1728–1788)

  • Poems John Cook (1918-1984)
  • Suite pour orgue, Op. 5 Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986) Prélude
  • Program subject to change at the discretion of the artist(s).