Michael Murray (organist)

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Michael Murray (born March 19, 1943 in Kokomo, Indiana) is an American-born organist and writer.[1]


Murray studied at Butler University and the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, before private study with Marcel Dupré in Paris. (He was the last important student of Dupré, of whom he would later write a biography.) During the 1968–69 performance season, Murray performed the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach in a series of twelve recitals in Cleveland. He later commemorated the 150th birthday of César Franck by playing that composer's complete organ works in 1972. He repeated the cycle for the hundredth anniversary of Franck's death (1990, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.)[2] Murray's performances have included nearly every major city in North America, with numerous appearances as a soloist with major orchestras.[3][4][5] Critics hailed Murray's rare combination of technique, thoughtfulness, and musical feeling. He has made many recordings on the Telarc label,[6] featuring the works of Bach, Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns and others.[1]

Murray is now retired from concert performing and recording. He also retired in June, 2014, from St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, where he was organist for 31 years. He was named organist emeritus. He is also a librarian in the Music and Dance Library at The Ohio State University.[7]

Murray has written many articles and has published five books. His Marcel Dupré: The Work of a Master Organist (Northeastern University Press, ISBN 0-930350-65-0) is in its third printing. He has also written French Masters of the Organ (Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-07291-0) and served as editor for A Jacques Barzun Reader (HarperCollins, ISBN 0-06-093542-1). He has written a biography of Jacques Barzun, Jacques Barzun: Portrait of a Mind (Frederic C. Beil, ISBN 1929490410).

Murray has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Ohio State University (2000).[8]


  • Bach at The Methuen Memorial Music Hall
  • Bach at The First Congregational Church, Los Angeles
  • A Recital of Works by Bach, Messiaen, Dupre, Widor & Franck
  • Bach: The Organ At St. Andreas-Kirche, Hildesheim
  • An Organ Blaster Sampler: The Best of Michael Murray
  • Bach and Franck
  • Bach at St. Bavo's: Concert from St. Bavo's Church, The Netherlands
  • Bach at Zwolle
  • Bach in Los Angeles (Toccata & Fugue in D minor)
  • Bach Organ Blaster
  • Bach: Organ Works
  • Bach: The Organs at First Congregational Church, Los Angeles
  • Ceremonial Music for Trumpet & Organ (with Rolf Smedvig)
  • Dupre, Franck & Widor
  • Dupre: Symphony in G minor & Rheinberger: Organ Concerto No. 1 (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Encores a la francaise & Poulenc: Organ Concerto (with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)
  • Franck: The Complete Masterworks for Organ
  • Jongen: Symphonie Concertante & Franck: Fantaisie in A (with the San Francisco Symphony)
  • Music for Organ, Brass & Percussion (with the Empire Brass)
  • Poulenc: Gloria and Concerto for Organ (with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)
  • Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 and Encores a la francaise
  • Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 (with the Philadelphia Orchestra)
  • Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Organ (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • The Willis Organ at Salisbury Cathedral
  • The Young Bach
  • Vierne: Organ Symphonies
  • Works by Franck, Widor, Dupre, Bach & others



  1. ^ a b Morita, Patsy. "Michael Murray Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  2. ^ Holland, Bernard (5 May 1990). "Review/Music; Murray in Franck Marathon". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Authentic pipes just right for Dupre's organ symphony". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. 26 April 1987. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  4. ^ von Rhein, John (7 November 1987). "Slatkin And Cso Evoke Grant Park Memories". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  5. ^ Keller, James M. "COPLAND: Quiet City | Symphony for Organ and Orchestra". Program Notes. San Francisco Symphony. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2011. The San Francisco Symphony first performed [Copland's organ symphony] in January 1986...the soloist was Michael Murray.
  6. ^ Johnson, Lawrence (8 December 1996). "Bach: Toccata and Fugue in F Major". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Murray | School of Music". Archived from the original on 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  8. ^ "Ohio State honors six at autumn 2000 commencement". December 5, 2000. Retrieved 27 November 2010.

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