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LSU School of Music to Honor Professor Herndon Spillman at Special Concert Event Oct. 21

10/19/2011 11:49 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU School of Music will honor Herndon Spillman, Carolyn Botkin Mattax/Herndon Spillman Professor of Organ Studies, for his 35 years of service to the university with a special concert event on Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 2025 Stuart Ave., Baton Rouge. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.


During this concert, six of Spillman’s former and current students will perform some of his signature works. Also, four of Spillman’s colleagues from across the country will honor him in their own way. They include Pamela Decker of the University of Arizona; Jesse Eschbach of the University of North Texas; Faythe Freese of University of Alabama; and Christopher Young of Indiana University.


Spillman has earned an international reputation for his interpretations of the works of French composers and is in demand as a recitalist locally and abroad, frequently touring in France, where he has played in the regions of Northern and Southern France, Burgundy, and Alsace. In 1997, he completed his first successful tour of Germany, playing seven concerts in Central Germany. He has also played recitals in Switzerland and the Caribbean.


In 1992 he was featured as a performer at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Atlanta, Georgia, and in 1990 he was the only American organist asked to perform at the French International Convention of the Fédération Francophone des Amis de L’Orgue, which focused on the historic organs of Alsace. Recently, he was a featured recitalist for the eighth International Organ Festival held at the monastery of Sãn Bento in Sãn Paulo, Brazil, which highlighted North American organists.


A protégé of Maurice Duruflé, Spillman is highly regarded as interpreter of Duruflé's music. A two-year study with the composer culminated in a doctoral dissertation, “The Organ Works of Maurice Duruflé,” regarded as an important reference source concerning the interpretation of this repertoire.


Most recently, Spillman was a contributing author to the book, “Maurice Duruflé, the Last Impressionist,” which was published by Scarecrow Press in June of 2002 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the composer's birth, January 11, 1902. In addition to his writings on Duruflé, Spillman produced the first complete recording of the composer's organ works, which was awarded the artist a Grand Prix du Disque from the French Academy or Records in 1975.


A graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans, Spillman attended Indiana University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. There he studied with Oswald Ragatz, earning his master’s and doctoral degrees as well as the Performer's Certificate. As a doctoral candidate, he was affiliated with the university’s renowned Black Music Center, where he assembled a collection of organ music written by African-American composers. As a resident artist at the Cité International des Arts in Paris, further study took place with Marie-Claire Alain and André Marchal, in addition to his work with Duruflé.


For more information, visit the LSU School of Music website at, or contact Ronette King Boshea with the LSU School of Music at 225-578-3925.

LSU Media Relations