The Organists

Rodney Gehrke (ロドニー・ガーキ) is Director of Music at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, Organist and Choir Director at San Francisco's Temple Emanu-El, and Professor of Organ at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds a musicology degree from U.C., Berkeley. He is a Past Dean of the San Francisco Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and played the organ and directed the choir at Temple Emanu-El for the opening service of the 2011 Region IX Convention of the AGO. His teachers have included his father, Hugo Gehrke, as well as David Dahl (Pacific Lutheran University), Lawrence Moe (University of California, Berkeley), and Harald Vogel (North German Organ Academy).

In 1985, in observance of the 300th birthday of
Johann Sebastian Bach, Mr. Gehrke played the complete organ works of Bach in twelve recitals. In March, 2011, he played a recital at the church most popularly associated with Bach, St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. In June, 2011, he was the keynote presenter for the 100th anniversary of Seoul Theological University, Korea, where he played a recital, led an Episcopal liturgy, and offered two lectures and a day of masterclasses.

Mr. Gehrke has performed and recorded as continuo organist and harpsichordist with the
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and Voices of Music, and has also made two CDs of Mexican Baroque music with Chanticleer, with whom he toured the American Southwest and Mexico in 1998. He can also be heard on the CD collection, "Historic Organs of San Francisco," a performance recorded in 1988 on the historic organ at Temple Sherith Israel at the concluding recital of the national convention of the Organ Historical Society (OHS). He also appears on "Historic Organs of Seattle," also produced by the OHS in 2008. In addition to many solo performances, including frequent recitals at Stanford Memorial Church, he is in demand as organ accompanist for numerous community choruses as well as the two conservatory choirs conducted by David Conte and Ragnar Bohlin. He also occasionally plays organ with the San Francisco Symphony.

Mr. Gehrke has also conducted several full-orchestra performances of
Ernest Bloch's Avodath hakodesh (Sacred Service), commissioned by Temple Emanu-El, most recently in 2008 at Emanu-El for the national convention of the American Conference of Cantors. He has conducted many other special programs of Jewish music, including a memorial concert of the music of Leonard Bernstein. In 2001 he conducted two major works for a CD of contemporary Jewish music produced by Temple Emanu-El's Cantor Roslyn Barak. He has also performed solo harpsichord recitals, including Bach's Goldberg Variations.

 

 

 

 

Kaori Goto (後藤 香織) is a graduate of Ferris University in Yokohama with a Masters Degree in organ. She has studied with Yuko Hayashi at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She is a winner of  the Gherardeschi Prize from the Giuseppe Gherardeschi Organ Academy in 2005 and 2014, as well as the Pistoia Prize from La Fondazione Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo in 2008. Kaori is President of the Sendai Organ Society “Organ Friends.” Since 2004 she has worked as organ events organizer at Yugakukan Hall in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. She teaches organ at Shokei Gakuin University in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. She directs the Organ Project at Heiwa Gakuen School in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Currently Kaori is consulting on a new organ by Tetsuo Kusakari for the Kanto Gakuin School in Yokohama. She has given organ recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and the United States. She is also a music producer and music arranger, and has written a children’s book about the organ.

 

Mineko Kojima (小島 弥寧子) graduated in music (organ) from Tamagawa University and earned her Master’s Degree at Musashino College of Music. She received grants from the Naoaki Fukui Foundation. She completed her organ internship at Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall in 2003. She has participated in master courses in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain and USA. Her studies have been with Tetsurou Tominaga, Shigeru Itou, Takashi Sakai, Teruhisa Fujieda, Makiko Hayashima, Hatsumi Miura and Genzo Takehisa. She studies Spanish organ music with Andrés Cea Galán. She performs solo organ recitals, and appears with ensembles and orchestras in various cities in Europe, USA and Japan. Until March 2015 she served as deputy organist for nine years at Tsukiji Honganji Buddhist Temple in Tokyo. Currently she is teaching at Musashino College of Music in Tokyo. Mineko is a member of the Japan Organist Association and the Japan Organ Study Group.

Dr. Naki Sung Kripfgans (성낙희), a native of South Korea, performed both regionally and internationally, including in Germany, Russia, and South Korea. She made her European debut at Stiftskirche, St. Arnual, Germany in 2009. Over the next two years Dr. Kripfgans was invitied back to Europe twice.  In 2010, she performed in the gothic revival church Johanneskirche, Saarbrücken, Germany, home to the longstanding Hör Zu concert series founded in 1989. The following year, she gave a well-received solo recital at the annual International Organ Festival Orgues sans frontières. Dr. Kripfgans appeared as a soloist for the University of Michigan Organ Conference and is the 2012 winner of the Robert Glasgow Award at the University of Michigan Organ Improvisation Competition. Furthermore, she performed at the University of Michigan Organ Symposium and many concerts sponsored by the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

 

Dr. Kripfgans received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance (Liturgical, Church, and Synagogue Music) from the University of Michigan. She earned a master’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Northern Iowa. During her studies, Dr. Kripfgans received numerous scholarships and awards, including the prestigious James A. Walgreen Keyboard Scholarship. She also won the MTNA Young Chang Piano Competition and was the grand prize and performance award winner of the Des Moines Symphony. Her organ teachers include Dr. Marilyn Mason, Dr. Marilou Kratzenstein, and Dr. Ann Marie Rigler.

Dr. Kripfgans is currently the resident organist of First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a position she has held since 2002. Additionally, she is a staff collaborative pianist at the University of Michigan. She released her first solo organ CD in November 2013.