David Craighead

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David Craighead
Born(1924-01-24)January 24, 1924
Strasburg, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 26, 2012(2012-03-26) (aged 88)
Rochester, New York
Occupation(s)Music professor, organist

David Craighead (January 24, 1924 March 26, 2012) was a noted American organist. [1]

Organist musician who plays any type of organ

An organist is a musician who plays any type of organ. An organist may play solo organ works, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers or instrumental soloists. In addition, an organist may accompany congregational hymn-singing and play liturgical music.

Craighead was born in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. He studied with Alexander McCurdy at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in 1946. While at Curtis he met his future wife Marian Reiff, also a pupil of McCurdy. They married in 1948.

Strasburg, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Strasburg is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. It developed as a linear village along the Great Conestoga Road, stretching about two miles along path later known as the Strasburg Road. The population was 2,800 at the 2000 census. The town was named after Strasbourg in Alsace, the native home of an early settler. The town is often called "Train Town USA" because of the many railroad attractions in and around town, including the Strasburg Rail Road and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Much of the movie Witness was filmed on a farm nearby. Much of the borough was listed as a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Alexander McCurdy organist and educator

Alexander McCurdy Jr. was an organist and educator who taught a generation of America's most-prominent performers.

Curtis Institute of Music music school

The Curtis Institute of Music is a private conservatory in Philadelphia that offers courses of study leading to a performance diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in Opera, or Professional Studies Certificate in Opera. It is among the most selective institutes of higher education in the world with an admissions rate between 4 and 5%.

From 1955 until his retirement in the summer of 1992 he was both Professor of Organ and Chair of the Organ Division of the Keyboard Department at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Eastman School of Music American professional school of music

The Eastman School of Music is the professional school of music of the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. It was established in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman.

Rochester, New York City in Western New York

Rochester is a city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in western New York and the seat of Monroe County. With a population of 208,046, Rochester is the third most populous city in New York state, after New York City and Buffalo. The metropolitan area has a population of just over one million people. It is about 73 miles (117 km) east of Buffalo and 87 miles (140 km) west of Syracuse.

Craighead was also organist of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Rochester, a position he held for 48 years.

In June 1968, Craighead received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania.

Lebanon Valley College is a private college in Annville, Pennsylvania.

He recorded works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pierre du Mage, César Franck, Felix Mendelssohn, Olivier Messiaen, Samuel Adler, Paul Cooper, Lou Harrison, William Albright, Vincent Persichetti, Max Reger, Leo Sowerby, Dudley Buck, and Louis Vierne.

Johann Sebastian Bach German composer

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Western art musical canon.

César Franck Belgian-French composer, organist and music teacher

César-Auguste-Jean-Guillaume-Hubert Franck was a composer, pianist, organist, and music teacher who worked in Paris during his adult life.

Felix Mendelssohn 19th-century German composer, pianist and organist

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. Mendelssohn's compositions include symphonies, concertos, piano music and chamber music. His best-known works include his Overture and incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Italian Symphony, the Scottish Symphony, the oratorio Elijah, the overture The Hebrides, his mature Violin Concerto, and his String Octet. The melody for the Christmas carol "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is also his. Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words are his most famous solo piano compositions.

He was a featured performer at many national conventions and international congresses of the American Guild of Organists, and was voted the 1983 International Performer of the Year by the New York City chapter of the American Guild of Organists. He was also an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Craighead was the first recipient of Eastman's Eisenhart Award for Teaching Excellence. In the fall of 2008, Eastman dedicated the Craighead-Saunders pipe organ at Christ Church in honor of him and his fellow Eastman organ professor, Russell Saunders.

He died, aged 88, at his Valley Manor home in Rochester, New York, survived by his daughter, Betsy and his son, Jim.

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  1. "Eastman School Professor Emeritus of Organ David Craighead Dies – Eastman School of Music". Esm.rochester.edu. 1924-01-24. Retrieved 2012-03-30.

[Biography] http://www.esm.rochester.edu/about/portraits/craighead/