Organizers have added several new performers for the dedication conference for the Dane and Polly Bales Organ Recital Hall.
Noted French organist Marie-Claire Alain is seriously ill and will not be able to attend next week's dedication conference for the Dane and Polly Bales Organ Recital Hall, according to Kansas University officials.
Alain, who lives in Paris and is considered one of the leading figures in the organ performance world, was scheduled to perform recitals and conduct master's classes at the conference.
Organizers have, however, added several new performers to the conference lineup: Susan Landale, Paris, organ professor at the National Regional Conservatory in Rueil-Malmaison; John Grew, university organist, chairman of the organ and harpsichord department and dean of music faculty at McGill University in Montreal, Canada; Marie Rubis Bauer, Lawrence, organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Topeka; Norma Stevlingson, music professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior; and Warren Hutton, organ professor at the University of Alabama.
The public dedication of the Bales Organ Recital Hall will be from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the recital hall, northwest of the Lied Center on KU's West Campus.
Brief remarks by KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Lawrence Mayor John Nalbandian will be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Dane and Polly Bales, Logan, will be introduced. Brief tours of the building will be conducted by KU organ students.
A few seats are still available for recitals during the dedication conference. Those recitals include James Higdon, 8 p.m. Thursday; Susan Dickerson Moeser, 3:30 p.m. Friday; Michael Bauer, 8 p.m. Friday; Landale, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12; and Concerto Concert, featuring the KU Symphony Orchestra and Concert Wind Ensemble, 3 p.m. Oct. 13.
Tickets will be sold at the door 30 minutes before each concert; no reservations will be taken.
Bales Recital Hall was built specifically to house a 35-foot-tall organ. The dedicated space is intended to showcase "Hellmuth Wolff, opus 40," the official name of the three-manual organ with mechanical key action and electric stop action. The organ was constructed by Wolff and Associes-Ltee. of Laval, Quebec, Canada, a company considered to be one of the top three organ builders in the world.
The $1.7 million hall provides seating for more than 200 people and features a 72-foot-high ceiling and walls 2 feet thick. The hall was constructed to have ideal acoustics for organ recitals. The facility will be used by the academic departments of the KU School of Fine Arts.
The richly colored stained glass windows at the front of the hall were designed by Peter G. Thompson, KU dean of fine arts. Bales Recital Hall and the Lied Center are connected by a common lobby area.
The building was made possible by gifts from Dane and Polly Bales and the Hansen Foundation, Logan.