Back in December, when online radio station The Lot added a vintage school bus to its chill hangspot in Greenpoint, we noted that they had been doing concerts across the street at the San Damiano Mission. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, this is the time. Next Thursday, May 18, the church is dusting off its century-old pipe organ for a performance of Philip Glass.
As described by Franciscan friar Nicholas Spano in a fundraising video for its restoration, the impressive Moller pipe organ was installed in 1912 and hadn’t been played since the 1980s. Its restoration hasn’t come cheap: the church had already saved over $100,000 when it put out the fundraising call, and needed $125,000 more to be able to clean, repair, and replace the pipes, and bring the wiring up to code. On Thursday, the organ will spring into action as Timo Andres, a composer and Nonesuch recording artist who often performs with Philip Glass, performs the legend’s Dance No 4 for solo organ, written in 1979 for the Lucinda Childs Dance Company.
Given the 106-year-old church’s transporting interior (check it out in the fundraising video, the organ performance alone would be enough of a treat. But wait, there’s more: The American Contemporary Music Ensemble, fresh off of lending its services to Steve Reich at Carnegie Hall, will perform Glass’s String Quartet No 3, featuring music written for the 1985 film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, as well as his 1991 work, String Quartet No 5.
Tickets are $22 and can be purchased here.