Columbia University in the City of New York

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Gail Archer headshot leads to news item.



A Slavic Celebration: Ukrainian Program
All concerts are first come, first served with limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Scroll down for more information about the program.

The Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute is pleased to present the second in a series of three concerts by internationally acclaimed organist and recording artist Gail Archer. Part of the series A Slavic Celebration: Trio of Gail Archer Concerts, her performance of the Ukrainian Program on March 16 will be held at St. Jean Baptiste Church. Known for enthralling listeners with her musicality, sensitivity, and visceral quality, Gail Archer introduces audiences to rarely performed works by 19th-21st century Slavic composers. This unique program showcases the little-known organ literature of Eastern Europe.

“Gail Archer is not only a trailblazing organist and rescuer of undeservedly obscure repertoire. She’s also been responsible for some of the most entertaining and often rewardingly unorthodox organ music programming in this city in recent years.”  – New York Music Daily

“The performances by Gail Archer have heart and expressionist aplomb.”  – Classical Modern Music

“Gail Archer’s recitals are so highly thought of and successful, for she creates a really rousing and exhilarating performance.”  – Music Web International

Archer has had a long-time interest in the vibrant organ culture of Eastern Europe. Since 2011, Archer has performed each year in Eastern Europe resulting in her election as a faculty member at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute. She is scheduled to release the final album (Polish works) in her trilogy of recordings of contemporary organ literature from Eastern Europe later this year. The first was A Russian Journey (2017, Meyer Media), that included music from the 19th-21st centuries by Russian composers Glasunow, Cui, Ljapunow, Slonimski, Shaversashvili and Mussorgsky. “The superb musicianship, masterly technique and programming savvy informing the American organist Gail Archer’s previous Meyer Media releases prevail throughout ‘A Russian Journey’.” (Gramophone) The second was Chernivtsi: Contemporary Ukrainian Organ Music (2020, Meyer Media) which was hailed by Textura for “exemplifying all of the musicality for which she’s become known. In presenting Eastern European organ works, Archer, a choral conductor and educator as well as organist, performs a valuable service to both composers and listeners. Yet while that is the case, the fifty-four-minute album is more than an educational exercise: it satisfies on purely musical grounds with the visceral impact of its compositions and treatments.”

Gail Archer is an international concert organist, recording artist, choral conductor and lecturer who draws attention to composer anniversaries or musical themes with her annual recital series including Max Reger, The Muse’s Voice, An American Idyll, Liszt, Bach, Mendelssohn, and Messiaen. Ms. Archer was the first American woman to play the complete works of Olivier Messiaen. Time Out New York recognized the Messiaen cycle as “Best of 2008” in classical music and opera. Her recordings include Chernivtsi: Contemporary Ukrainian Organ Music, A Russian Journey, The Muse’s Voice, Franz Lizst: A Hungarian Rhapsody, Bach: The Transcendent Genius, An American Idyll, A Mystic in the Making (Meyer Media), and The Orpheus of Amsterdam: Sweelinck and his Pupils (CALA Records). Ms. Archer’s 2019 European tour took her to the British Isles, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, Russian and Malta. Highlights include the St. Giles Cathedral Edinburgh, Scotland, the Basilica of Loyola, San Sebastian, Spain, St. Mary’s Church, Cracow, Poland, Holy Cross Church, Lublin, Poland, the Philharmonic of Lviv, Ukraine, and the Lutheran Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Moscow, Russia. She is the founder of Musforum,, an international network for women organists to promote and affirm their work. Ms. Archer is a college organist at Vassar College, a faculty member of Harriman Institute of Columbia University, and director of the music program at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she conducts the Barnard-Columbia Chorus and Chamber Singers.


When: Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 7:00pm
Where: St. Jean Baptiste Church, 184 East 76th Street, New York City
Tickets: FREE. Donations accepted.
More Info: Contact the Church at 212.288.5082 or visit

Fanfare (Bohdan Kotyuk)

Benedictus: Song of Zachariah (Bohdan Kotyuk)

Piece in Five Movements (Tadeusz Machl)

Fantasia (Victor Goncharenko)

Passacaglia (Mykola Kolessa)

Chacona (Svitlana Ostrova)

Fantasie (Iwan Kryschanowskij)

Other events in this series:

A Slavic Celebration: Polish Program
Sunday, February 7, 2021, 2:30pm
Church of St. Francis Xavier, 55 West 15th Street, New York City

A Slavic Celebration: Russian Program
Saturday, April 10, 2021, 3:00pm
St. John Nepomucene, 411 East 66th Street, New York City

Click here for the series program.